Illegal Records

Illegal Records was an independent record label, founded by Miles Copeland III with his younger brother Stewart Copeland and the manager of The Police, Paul Mulligan[1] in 1977. The label released The Police's debut single, "Fall Out".[2]

Copeland went on to sign more artists and start several other indie sublabels including Deptford Fun City Records, Step-Forward Records and Total Noise Records. He also launched the foreign divisions, France & Netherlands, that released some of the same titles with different catalogue numbers, and some exclusive titles as well.

In 1979, after Copeland started I.R.S. Records, Illegal became its distributor in UK and Europe. It continued its operations until 1988, when it merged its operations with I.R.S.

Illegal Records
Illegal Records logo
FounderMiles Copeland III, Stewart Copeland, Paul Mulligan
Statusdefunct since 1988
GenreAlternative rock, punk rock
Country of originUnited States

Sub labels

See also

  • List of record labels: I–Q


  1. ^ a b Paul Marko Popular music genres: an introduction. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 10 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Punk rock: so what? : the cultural ... Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  4. ^ The Roxy London Wc2: A Punk History. The Roxy Club London:Punk, 2007. ISBN 0955658306. Retrieved 2010-01-08.

External links

...Off the Bone

...Off the Bone is the first compilation album of previously released material by the American garage punk band the Cramps. It was released in 1983 in the United Kingdom on Illegal Records. The original release had an anaglyph on the cover and a pair of paper red and blue "3D glasses" inside the sleeve for viewing it.

Animal Justice

Animal Justice is the first EP by Welsh musician John Cale. It was released in September 1977 by record label Illegal.

Ark (The Animals album)

Ark is an album by the original members of The Animals. Released in 1983 on I.R.S. Records, it was the second and last reunion attempt of the band's initial lineup. The album subsequently was followed by a tour by the band.

Bangles (EP)

Bangles is the eponymous first EP by The Bangles. It was released in 1982 by Faulty Products and reissued in 1983 by I.R.S. Records when Faulty Products went out of business. The songs remained widely unavailable thereafter, with only occasional rereleases of individual songs. The whole five-song EP was eventually reissued as part of the Bangles' 2014 compilation, Ladies and Gentlemen... The Bangles!.

This would be the group's only release to feature original bassist Annette Zilinskas, who left in early 1983 and was replaced by Michael Steele.

Beauty and the Beat (The Go-Go's album)

Beauty and the Beat is the debut album from Californian new wave band the Go-Go's. Released in 1981 on the I.R.S. Records label, the album was preceded by the single and signature song "We Got the Beat", which became a club hit in Europe and, later, the United States. When the album was eventually released, it steadily climbed the Billboard 200 chart, ultimately peaking at number one, where it remained for six consecutive weeks, ranking second among Billboard's Top 100 albums of 1981. The LP sold in excess of two million copies and reached double platinum status, making it one of the most successful debut albums of all time. Critically acclaimed, it has been described as one of the "cornerstone albums of American new wave".The title is a play on the European fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast".

Call of the West

This article is for the music album. For the television series whose repeats were broadcast as "Call of the West", see Death Valley Days.Call of the West is the second studio album by Los Angeles new wave band Wall of Voodoo, released in September 1982. "Mexican Radio", released as a single and as a video that received moderate airplay on MTV, is the group's most well-known song.

Australian label Raven Records reissued a digitally remastered CD of Call of the West. It is coupled with the first Wall of Voodoo album, the long out of print Dark Continent.

Camera Camera (Renaissance album)

Camera Camera is the tenth studio album by the British progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1981.

Declaration (The Alarm album)

Declaration is the debut studio album from The Alarm. It was released in 1984 by IRS Records. The album was released initially on vinyl and cassette. A CD version was released in the U.S. by June 1984. An extended re-master version was released in 2000, including extra tracks.

Gravest Hits

Gravest Hits is the first 12" EP by the American garage punk band the Cramps, compiling both sides of their first two 1978 Vengeance singles, "Surfin' Bird" and "Human Fly", with an added fifth track, a cover version of "Lonesome Town". It was released in July 1979 on Illegal Records and I.R.S. Records. The tracks were all produced by Alex Chilton and recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis in 1977. The EP's liner notes were credited to "Dr. J.H. Sasfy, Professor of Rockology, American Rock'n'Roll Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A.". Gravest Hits is one of the first records of both the rockabilly revival and the psychobilly genres. The photograph on the back of the original sleeve, of the band in performance, was taken at the Palladium theater in New York.

"Human Fly" appeared in episode 4 of the UK ITV comedy drama series Married Single Other as Clint scaled four floors of a block of flats in Leeds to try to recover his relationship with Abbie. A cover version of the song by Hanni El Khatib also appeared in a Nissan television advertisement. Another cover version was recorded by the Serbian alternative rock band Supernaut on their 2006 album Eli.

I.R.S. Records

I.R.S. Records was an American record label founded by Miles Copeland III and Jay Boberg 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.

Laughing at the Pieces

Laughing at the Pieces is the 1986 album by Doctor and the Medics.

Metal Rhythm

Metal Rhythm is the ninth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, originally released in September 1988 by I.R.S. Records.

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.

Psychedelic Jungle

Psychedelic Jungle is the second album by the American garage punk band the Cramps. It was released in May 1981 on I.R.S. Records. It was engineered by Paul McKenna and recorded in January 1981 at A&M Studios. It was self-produced by the Cramps. The photo on the back cover of the album was taken by the noted photographer and director Anton Corbijn.

Only half of the album's 14 tracks are original compositions, written by guitarist Poison Ivy Rorschach and singer Lux Interior. The rest are cover versions of rock and roll, rockabilly, and garage rock singles from the 1950s and 1960s; these include "Green Door" by Jim Lowe (1956), "Jungle Hop" by Kip Tyler and the Flips (1958), "Rockin' Bones" by Ronnie Dawson (1959), "Goo Goo Muck" by Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads (1962), "The Crusher" by the Novas (1964), "Primitive" by the Groupies (1966), and "Green Fuz" by Green Fuz (1969).Single "Goo Goo Muck" later appeared on the soundtrack to the 1986 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Songs the Lord Taught Us

Songs the Lord Taught Us is the first album by the American psychobilly band The Cramps. It was released in May 1980 on I.R.S. Records in America and Illegal Records in England.

Strange Kicks

Strange Kicks is the third studio album by English post-punk band Alternative TV, released in 1981 by I.R.S. Records. The album showed a shift towards a more new wave style, whilst keeping with the band's non-commercial ethos.


Time-Line the eleventh studio album by the British progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1983. It was the last album released by Renaissance before they disbanded in 1987.

With this album, Renaissance moved farther away from their signature sound and toward 1980s pop, than even on their previous album, Camera Camera. Though, in the view of some fans, it contained some excellent pop songs, it was a commercial failure, receiving the worst reviews of the band's career.While Camera Camera's sound was clearly influenced by the band members who had played as Nevada (Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford, along with keyboardist Peter Gosling), this time the responsibility seems to have landed squarely on the shoulders of Jon Camp. He wrote all the lyrics, strongly influenced the musical style, and went so far as to publicly call this the band's "best album."

Vacation (The Go-Go's album)

Vacation is the second studio album by American rock band the Go-Go's, released in 1982 on the I.R.S. Records label. The album reached No. 8 in the Billboard 200, and was certified Gold. The title track was a U.S. summer smash, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard pop singles chart. The Go-Go's were riding high at the time of the album's first release, their prospects to all outward appearances looking bright. Future problems were beginning to take shape, as the members' drug use and internal fighting began to escalate.

The single "Vacation" was also issued as perhaps the first cassette single ever. In addition to the title track, two more singles were pulled from the album at the time: "Get Up and Go" and "This Old Feeling", the former of which was a minor hit (Hot 100 No. 50) in the United States. The song "Speeding", which is not on the album, is a Caffey/Wiedlin composition used as B-side of the single for "Get Up and Go". It also appeared in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as well as on the film's soundtrack.

Wazmo Nariz

Wazmo Nariz (born Larry Grennan in Chicago, Illinois) was a quirky new wave singer and songwriter. His first success came with an independent single, "Tele-tele-telephone" which was recorded and released on the independent Chicago label Fiction Records in 1978. The single was picked up and was one of Stiff Records' early releases in the UK. They released an EP the next year and I.R.S. Records founder Miles Copeland III signed Wazmo and his band to Illegal Records/I.R.S. The signing resulted in the full-length LP Things Aren't Right and featured the single "Checking Out The Checkout Girl" which received some airplay around the Midwestern U.S. as well as on WPIX-FM in New York City. Further success was limited and there were no other Illegal Records/I.R.S. releases for Wazmo Nariz.

Wazmo Nariz's next recording was the Big Records release Tell Me How To Live. The album cover was designed by Rick Landerman, who also designed logos and posters for him. Again, success was limited and five years went by before another recording was released, this time a 12" single "Yahoo Eeeee".

In 1983 Wazmo briefly served as one of the first hosts of the MTV alternative music program, I.R.S. Records Presents The Cutting Edge. "Checking Out the Checkout Girl" is included on the 1989 I.R.S. compilation album These People Are Nuts!In keeping with Wazmo's quirky reputation, the album cover for "Things Aren't Right" (displayed on the show) has a cover photo that is slightly off-center. Nariz's trademark was his tendency to wear two neckties side by side.Wazmo has worked with Stan Ridgway under his real name, Larry Grennan, along with his drummer Bruce Zelesnik. Zelesnik performed as a permanent member of Stan's band starting in 2002.

On the March 14, 2017 broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Wazmo's song "Checking Out the Checkout Girl" was sampled as part of the humorous "Do Not Play List" segment.Wazmo Nariz band members:

Jeff Hill - Guitar and backing vocals

Bruce Zelesnik - Drums

Jeff Boynton - Keyboards

James E.McGreevy III - Bass

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