It was during one of their first tours outside of Ontario, in “la belle province”, when they finally got the call from their manager. One week of studio time was arranged to record their first album, or at least that’s what they expected it to be. Rick recalls, “Now the pressure was on to write more songs and put the finishing touches on others. During the daytime, while the club was closed for business we got together and rehearsed every original SANTERS song we had, in spite of putting in three, sometimes four sets a night performing until the early morning hours”.
In December of that year, the band returned home and settled in at Masters Workshop recording studio in Rexdale Ontario for its first sessions. Before digital recording, analogue tape recording was king. The sessions were recorded onto a 24 track Studer A80 machine running 2” tape. The recording console was a 1960’s Neve, and it came with the standard assortment of vintage microphones, compressors, limiters, delays along with some very nice plate reverbs.
The band had only one week to record and mix twelve songs. They began by recording the bed tracks (guitar, bass and drums) which were cut in the first couple of days. The lead and background vocal tracks along with solo guitar tracks and keyboard tracks were recorded over the following sessions. That left only three days to mix all the songs.
The instrument line-up read like a rock and roll textbook. Rick Santers had his 1964 Fender Stratocaster and his 1969 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe pumping through a 50-watt Marshall and 4×12 cabinet. Rick Lazaroff had a 1971 Fender Precision Bass driving an Ampeg SVT while Mark Santers commanded his vintage Ludwig kit.
With the album being almost complete producer Bob Connolly suggested that they record a cover tune. That evening Rick was listening to albums (the vinyl kind). He tripped across an old K-Tel record, “24 Electrifying Hits”, and heard a song he remembered from when he was eight years old. The song was called “The Rapper” by The Jaggerz. After hearing it, Rick knew right away that the band could boot the song into high gear. So, he quickly wrote out an arrangement for the guys to learn for the next day’s recording session. The song was cut in only two takes and became the first track on side one.
Songs written on the road, last-minute daytime rehearsals in the clubs, and five days of recording with three days of mixing. The result: SANTERS debut album. Shot Down in Flames was released in 1981 in Canada and Europe and spawned classics like “Time After Time”, “You Turn Me On” and the title track “Shot Down in Flames”.
With the release of “The Definitive Remasters Collection” SANTERS fans can finally listen to the band’s vast catalogue of rock classics mastered to the level of sound quality that was originally intended. So, sit back, crank it up and listen to SANTERS the way they were meant to be heard.
Rick Santers: lead vocals, electric guitars, and keyboards
Mark Santers: drums, percussion, and background vocals
Rick Lazaroff: bass
Produced by Bob Connolly
Engineered by Paul Massey
Recorded and Mixed at Masters Workshop, Toronto ON
Remastered by Edward Tobin at ECV Mastering Studio, Toronto ON
Cover Photography: Phillip Kamin
Original Art Direction and Design: Dean Motter
Design and Layout: Terry Welch
Words and Music by Rick Santers
All songs © 1980 Santoonz Music (SOCAN)
except “The Rapper” written by Dominic lerace © Don Iris Music (BMI), EMI Unart Catalog Inc. (BMI), Souler Two Music (BMI)
Lyrics used by permission. All rights reserved.
Original sound recording ℗ © 1981, 2012 Dandelion Records
Management: Tube Productions
Thanks to Gottlieb, Linda and Axel, Doug McKenzie, Ray van Doorn, Dave Dickson,Gary Slaight,
Keith Elshaw, Ralph Jolivet, Andy Holland, Gil Moore, Fox Fluid Power, and Nick Poliwko
Road Crew: Dave Kitley, Frank Clarke, Al Wolskie and Kevin Brown
Concert Sound and staging by Kroth