Edmonton’s Victory Group was formed in 1981 by the guitar-core One Horse Blue alumni Ian Oscar, Winston Quelch, and Bob Burghardt. With Burghardt also handling keyboards, they rounded out the group with bassist David Heidt and drummer William Bobinski.
With Oscar doing most of the lead vocals, they began touring the local circuit while writing some material, and hooked up with Sound Canadian Management. That summer they were approached by Darryl Goede about a project he was doing with 630 CHED Radio. The band recorded three tracks live at the Rex Hotel for the indies compilation album, ALBERTA CRUDE – “Erica,” “BS,” and “Fall of Martin.” The exposure got them higher profile gigs and they continued to tour the prairies.
In the spring of ’82, Burghardt returned to One Horse Blue for the rest of the ’80s, then became a session player and producer around the Edmonton area. Bobinski was also gone, replaced by Mark Gjab on keys and drummer Don Strate respectively. They drove to Calgary and recorded some tracks at Thunder Road Studios with Danny Lowe (Hammersmith, Painter, 49th Parallel, 451 Degrees, etc), with help from Mario Chocian and Woody Bachman. Pressed on House of Lords Records, the result was their 1982 debut album, TOMORROW.
The title track b/w the unreleased “Fantasia,” and “Falling Down” b/w “Rock Thru The Night” were cut on 45, and both received decent airplay throughout western Canada and in pockets out east. Other tracks like “Goodybe Goodbye,” and “Turn and Walk Away” mixed cutting edge keyboards with heavy guitar licks, while the doo-wop inspired “Take The Time” with spoken word slipped in showed the band’s versatility. They continued to write new material while maintaining a live presence around the circuit. But by the spring of ’83 they broke up amicably to go on to other projects.
Quelch, Oscar, and Strate reformed shortly after Victory Group’s initial demise with fellow OHB alumni Mike Shellard, for the short-lived Prisoner in the mid ’80s. Quelch and Oscar teamed up now and again on various projects over the years after that, and assembled Blue Yonder for one album in the late ’00s, with a second expected in 2012, featuring drummer and singer/songwriter Ken Janz.
In 2007, American based Retrospect Records re-released Victory Group’s only album on disc, with a different cover but no bonus material.