Santers - Racing Time

edited November 2022 in Year-1982


ARTIST: Santers, Rick
ALBUM: Racing Time
LABEL: Ready
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2009, Krescendo, KRECD30


LINEUP: Rick Santers - vocals, guitars * Rick Lazaroff - bass * Mark Santers - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mistreatin' Heart * 02 Mystical Eyes * 03 Still I Am * 04 Dog Without A Home * 05 Road To Morocco * 06 Two Against The World * 07 Back Streets * 08 Winter Freeze * 09 Hard Time Lovin' You * 10 Racing Time * 11 You Turn Me On (bonus, live)


Somewhat of an institution in their native Canada in the early 80's was this three piece outfit, led by by Rick Santers, with his brother Mark occupying the drum stool.

In 2006 it would be fair to assume Santers are long since forgotten, but this is a noteworthy effort that reputedly was the bands greatest achievement. With a sound halfway between hard rock and AOR, it's hard to pin the bands real direction down, one moment coming off as contenders to Foreigner the next attacking with the gusto of AC/DC.

This was the bands second album, 1981's 'Shot Down In Flames' the initial breakthrough. With the likes of Triumph, Loverboy, Rush, Toronto, Prism etc all vying for supremacy in this rich period of Canadian melodic rock, Santers could easily have gotten lost in the shuffle but managed to make quite a name for themselves.

The Songs

'Mistreatin' Heart' is the pick of the album, AOR ready without keyboards dominating the mix. Santers is a cross between Don Dokken and Lou Gramm vocally and the sound is heavier than many of their contemporaries, Rick Santers seeing to that with some hard riffs.

Metal obviously ran through Santers veins, judging from 'Mystical Eyes' and its Zeppelin 'Kashmir' attempts, epic galloping riffs and stabbing keyboards

Shifting from one scene to the other, 'Still I Am' adds acoustic guitar work in, with Santers now recalling Brian Howe before his time even began. The mood quickly changes to the bold AC/DC'ish hard rock of 'Dog Without A Home', which could share a home itself with April Wine.

I feel Santers vocals don't fit this style, lacking that hoarse edge needed to make it convincing. For the AOR lover 'Two Against The World' might be of some interest, first rate indeed and the direction the band should have pursued as a whole.

'Back Streets' is nothing less than stunning melodic rock, with heavy shades of Foreigner and its nice to hear the keyboards unloaded during 'Winter Freeze'.

The title track is fairly fast paced, with hints of Fortress and typically harmonic early 80's vocals work from the band during a beautiful chorus.

In Summary

A treat for the early 80's rock connoisseur, should any of you be tempted to secure a copy which to my knowledge is readily available on CD. This was supposed to propel the band to the top but that never quite materialised and the band called it quits after a 1986's 'Top Secrecy'.

Santers collaborated with Triumph among others after the split and rightfully maintains the image of a minor guitar legend in his homeland. His wizardry is what adds the edge to 'Racing Time', despite the occasional sub par vocal work. Aside from that this remains a definite add to the ever growing collection.

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