I.R.S. Records was an American record label founded by Miles Copeland III, Jay Boberg, and Carl Grasso in 1979. I.R.S. produced some of the most popular bands of the 1980s, and was particularly known for issuing records by college rock, new wave and alternative rock artists, including R.E.M., The Go-Go's, Wall of Voodoo and Fine Young Cannibals.
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founder||Miles Copeland III|
Caroline Distribution (2013–2015)
Capitol Music Group (2015-present)
|Genre||New wave, rock|
|Country of origin||United States|
Miles Copeland III, the son of CIA agent Miles Copeland Jr., played many roles in the U.K. punk rock and new wave music industry of the middle to late 1970s: agent, manager, producer, magazine publisher, record company and label owner. His brother Ian was the head of a talent agency, Frontier Booking International (F.B.I.), while his brother Stewart played drums for The Police, a band that Copeland managed. The Police's first album was released on A&M Records in 1978 with a hit single, "Roxanne", that Copeland called a turning point in his life.
From 1983 to 1987, I.R.S. Records sponsored a monthly MTV show called I.R.S. Records Presents The Cutting Edge, hosted by Peter Zaremba of The Fleshtones. The series concentrated on bands that recorded for the label. The show concept would later evolve into the alternative rock program 120 Minutes, which was launched in 1986 and co-existed with Cutting Edge for about a year and a half.
I.R.S. releases were distributed by A&M until 1985, then by MCA Records until 1990, and by EMI until the label folded in 1996. In 1985, Copeland brokered a deal to switch the label's distributor to MCA Records. Under the agreement, A&M continued to release the label's pre-1985 catalog, much of which still can be found under the A&M banner.
In 2011, EMI revived the label; as of 2012, the new label had Chiddy Bang and Foxy Shazam on its roster. In October 2013, shortly after the integration of EMI into its successor, Universal Music Group, the label was revived again as I.R.S. Nashville, with Striking Matches, Marc Scibilia and Cowboy Jack Clement on its roster before being shut down once again in 2015.
Faulty Products was the UK holding company for I.R.S. Records of the UK record labels set up by Copeland. It included Illegal Records, Deptford Fun City Records and others. Faulty Products was also an American independent record label and distribution company for other indie labels between 1980 and 1982. Faulty handled artists that didn't go through I.R.S.'s distribution deal with A&M.
Illegal Records was set up by Miles Copeland with his younger brother Stewart and the manager of The Police, Paul Mulligan. The label released The Police's debut single, "Fall Out". Deptford Fun City Records was set up by Miles Copeland in the late 1970s as an outlet for Deptford, England bands such as Alternative TV and Squeeze.
Tribal America was a label run by Rob DiStefano that was distributed by I.R.S. from 1991 until IRS folded in 1996. It concentrated on house music, a type of electronic dance music. The most prominent releases on its roster were by the production team Murk and also the song "So Get Up" an iconic vocal poem by Californian rapper Ithaka, backed by the Progressive house sounds of USL from Lisbon, Portugal. DiStefano went on to found Twisted America Records.
I.R.S.'s roster of musicians included The Alarm, Bangles, Berlin, Black Sabbath, Buzzcocks, J. J. Cale, Belinda Carlisle, Concrete Blonde, Stewart Copeland, The Cramps, Dada, The Damned, Dead Kennedys, The English Beat, The Fall, The Fleshtones, General Public, The Go-Go's, The Genitorturers , hHead, Jools Holland, Klark Kent, Let's Active, The Lords of the New Church, Magazine, Gary Numan, Oingo Boingo, R.E.M., Renaissance, Scott Merritt, Stan Ridgway, Skafish, The Stranglers, Fine Young Cannibals, YEN, Wall of Voodoo, and Torch Song.
I.R.S. Records released three albums that have been certified as platinum or multi-platinum, for sales of over 1 million units, by the Recording Industry Association of America: Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go's (1981), Document by R.E.M. (1987) and The Raw & the Cooked by Fine Young Cannibals (1989). Seven additional albums have also been certified gold for sales of at least 500,000 copies: Murmur (1983), Reckoning (1984), Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) and Lifes Rich Pageant (1986), all by R.E.M., Vacation by The Go-Go's (1982), Belinda by Belinda Carlisle (1986) and Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde (1990).
On the Charts was a 1994 compilation album that chronicled I.R.S. Records from 1979 to 1994.
7IN—83–88 is a collection of 7-inch singles released by R.E.M. The collection covers their singles released on the I.R.S. label between 1983 and 1988.Ages of You
"Ages of You" is a song by alternative rock band R.E.M. from their album Dead Letter Office. It was one of the first songs the group wrote.Chronic Town
Chronic Town is the debut EP by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on August 24, 1982 on I.R.S. Records. Chronic Town is the first illustration of R.E.M.'s signature musical style: jangling guitars, chords played in arpeggio, murmured vocals, and obscure lyrics.Cross Purposes
Cross Purposes is the 17th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in January 1994.Document (album)
Document is the fifth studio album by American rock band R.E.M., released on September 1, 1987 by I.R.S. Records. It was the first album by the band to be produced by Scott Litt.Eponymous (album)
Eponymous is the first greatest hits and the second compilation album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1988. It was their last authorized release on I.R.S. Records, to whom they had been contracted since 1982, having just signed with Warner Bros. Records.
Eponymous is notable for its inclusion of several rare or alternative versions of known tracks, most notably the soundtrack contribution "Romance", which had not previously appeared on an R.E.M. record. Spanning from the initial single release of "Radio Free Europe" to the previous year's breakthrough hit album Document, Eponymous provides a fair overview of R.E.M.'s early work.
The album features the alternate title "File Under Grain", a reference to the cover photograph. A previous album, Document, had "File Under Fire" inscribed on it, and Reckoning featured the words "File Under Water". On the backside of the LP cover was a photograph of singer Michael Stipe with the words "They Airbrushed My Face" above his head.
Released in October 1988, just a month before R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. debut Green appeared, Eponymous reached #44 in the US and #69 in the UK.Fine Young Cannibals
Fine Young Cannibals were a British rock music band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1984, by bassist David Steele, guitarist Andy Cox (both formerly of The Beat), and singer Roland Gift (formerly of the Akrylykz). Their self-titled 1985 debut album contained "Johnny Come Home" and a cover of "Suspicious Minds", two songs that were top 40 hits in the UK, Canada, Australia and many European countries. Their 1989 album, The Raw & the Cooked, topped the UK and US album charts, and contained their two Billboard Hot 100 number ones: "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing".In 1990 the band won two Brit Awards: Best British Group, and Best British Album (for The Raw & the Cooked). Their name came from the 1960 film All the Fine Young Cannibals starring Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood.Finest Worksong
"Finest Worksong" is the third and final single released from R.E.M.'s fifth studio album Document. It peaked at number 50 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1988, at the time the group's highest-charting single in the UK.The single version of the song (also known as Mutual Drum Horn mix), featuring a new horn section by The Uptown Horns, was placed on R.E.M.'s I.R.S. Records compilation Eponymous. This was the last original single the band released on I.R.S. Records.I.R.S. Records Presents The Cutting Edge
I.R.S. Records Presents: The Cutting Edge, also known as The Cutting Edge or IRS's The Cutting Edge, was a music program that aired on MTV (US) from March 1983 to September 1987, on the last Sunday of every month. The show was retitled The Cutting Edge Happy Hour in 1986.Miles Copeland III
Miles Axe Copeland III (born May 2, 1944) is an American music and entertainment executive and former manager of The Police. Copeland later managed Sting's musical and acting career. In 1979, Copeland founded the I.R.S. Records label, producing R.E.M., The Bangles, Berlin, The Cramps, Dead Kennedys, The Alarm, The Go-Go's, and others.Murmur (album)
Murmur is the debut studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on April 12, 1983 by I.R.S. Records. Murmur drew critical acclaim upon its release for its unusual sound, defined by lead singer Michael Stipe's cryptic lyrics, guitarist Peter Buck's jangly guitar style, and bass guitarist Mike Mills' melodic basslines.Reckoning (R.E.M. album)
Reckoning is the second studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on April 9, 1984 by I.R.S. Records. Produced by Mitch Easter and Don Dixon, the album was recorded at Reflection Sound Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, over 16 days in December 1983 and January 1984. Dixon and Easter intended to capture the sound of R.E.M.'s live performances, and used binaural recording on several tracks. Singer Michael Stipe dealt with darker subject matter in his lyrics, and water imagery is a recurring theme on the record. Released to critical acclaim, Reckoning reached number 27 in the United States—where it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1991—and peaked at number 91 in the United Kingdom.The Bangles
The Bangles are an American pop rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1981. They scored several hit singles during the 1980s, including "Walk Like an Egyptian" (Billboard magazine's number-one single of 1987), "Manic Monday," "A Hazy Shade of Winter," and "Eternal Flame."
Their classic line-up consisted of Michael Steele on bass and vocals, founding members Susanna Hoffs on vocals and rhythm guitar, Debbi Peterson on drums and vocals, and Vicki Peterson on lead guitar and vocals. The band currently consists of Hoffs, Debbi and Vicki Peterson, and Annette Zilinskas.The Cramps
The Cramps were an American punk rock band formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated frequently during their existence, with the husband-and-wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist and occasional bass guitarist Poison Ivy comprising the only ever-present members. The addition of guitarist Bryan Gregory and drummer Pam Balam resulted in the first complete lineup in April 1976.
They were part of the early CBGB punk rock movement that had emerged in New York. The Cramps were one of the first punk bands, and also widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly.Tyr (album)
Tyr () (stylized as ᛏᛉᚱ) is the 15th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in August 1990 by I.R.S. Records.
The album title, and several song titles, allude to Norse mythology, which led many to call Tyr a concept album, although bassist Neil Murray dispelled that in 2005, stating that while many of the songs may seem loosely related, very little of the album has to do with mythology and it was not intended to be a concept recording.Wendell Gee
"Wendell Gee" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released as the third and final single from the group's third studio album Fables of the Reconstruction in 1985. It was released in Europe only, in two 7" and two 12" formats.
Instrumentally, the song was almost entirely composed and performed by Mike Mills, with Michael Stipe supplying the lyric and vocal. (Mills' backing vocal is "Gonna miss you, boy".) Peter Buck hated the song when it was initially recorded, claiming its only redeeming feature was his banjo solo, and it was only included on the album at the last minute. With Buck's objections being such, the song was very rarely played live, even on the European leg of the Reconstruction tour where it had been released as a single. Buck has since revised his view of the song.
The subject of the song died just after R.E.M. completed their 1995 world tour in support of the previous year's Monster. He was 69.William Orbit
William Orbit (born William Mark Wainwright; 15 December 1956) is an English musician, composer and record producer who has sold 200 million recordings worldwide of his own work, his production and songwriting work. He is a recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, Ivor Novello Awards and other music industry awards.