I.R.S. Records

Last updated
I.R.S. Records
I.R.S. Records logo.svg
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded1979 (1979)
Founder Miles Copeland III
Jay Boberg
Defunct1996 (1996)
StatusDefunct
Distributor(s) A&M (1979–1985)
MCA (1985–1990)
EMI (1990–1996)
EMI (2011–2012)
Caroline Distribution (2013–2015)
Capitol Music Group (2015-present)
Genre New wave, rock
Country of originUnited States
Official website onamrecords.com

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. [1]

Miles Axe Copeland III 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.

College rock was the alternative rock music played on student-run university and college campus radio stations located in the United States and Canada in the 1980s. The stations' playlists were often created by students who avoided the mainstream rock played on commercial radio stations.

New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Contents

History

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. [2]

Miles Copeland Jr. American spy

Miles Axe Copeland Jr. was an American musician, businessman, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer best known for his close personal relationship with Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and his "controversial books on intelligence," including The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics (1969) and The Game Player: Confessions of the CIA's Original Political Operative (1989). In his memoirs, Copeland recounted his involvement in numerous covert operations, including the March 1949 Syrian coup d'état and the 1953 Iranian coup d'état. A conservative influenced by the ideas of James Burnham, Copeland was associated with the American political magazine National Review. In a 1986 Rolling Stone interview, he stated, "Unlike The New York Times, Victor Marchetti and Philip Agee, my complaint has been that the CIA isn't overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I'm getting old."

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Ian Adie Copeland was an American music promoter and booking agent who helped launch the new wave movement in the United States.

Building on success with the Police, Copeland convinced Jerry Moss, co-owner of A&M, to establish the I.R.S. division in 1979. I.R.S. stood for International Record Syndicate. [3]

Jerome S. "Jerry" Moss is an American recording executive, best known for being the co-founder of A&M Records, along with trumpeter and bandleader Herb Alpert.

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.

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

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.

The Fleshtones are an American garage rock band from Queens, New York, formed in 1976.

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.

MCA Records US record label, imprint of MCA Records, Inc.

MCA Records was an American major record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group, which the label was part of until its dissolution in 2003. The label's country division MCA Nashville is a still active imprint of Universal Music Group Nashville.

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

The label folded in May 1996, with its last release being All Set by the Buzzcocks, issued two weeks before the closure. Shortly after, Copeland formed Ark 21 Records.

<i>All Set</i> album by Buzzcocks

All Set is the fifth studio album by English pop punk band Buzzcocks. After standardising their line-up of vocalists and guitarists Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, bassist Tony Barber, and drummer Phil Barker for the band's previous album Trade Test Transmissions (1993), the band's first record since their reunion in 1989, the band toured relentlessly which inspired the band–especially Shelley–to create a new album. Hiring longtime punk rock producer Neil King to produce and engineer All Set, the band recorded in Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California, a studio where then-huge pop punk bands like Green Day, to whom Buzzcocks had been a big influence, had recently recorded music engineered by King.

Buzzcocks British band

Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, and pop punk. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".

Ark 21 Records was a record label established by Miles & Stewart Copeland in 1977, based in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, United States.

In 2011, EMI revived the label; as of 2012, the new label has 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. [4] [5]

Faulty Products labels

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. [6] 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. [6] [7]

I.R.S. No Speak, also known as No Speak Records, was set up as an all-instrumental imprint of I.R.S. in January 1988. It released albums by Stewart Copeland, Wishbone Ash, and William Orbit.

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. [8] DiStefano went on to found Twisted America Records.

Roster

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, and Wall of Voodoo. [1]

I.R.S. compilation albums

On the Charts was a 1994 compilation album that chronicled I.R.S. Records from 1979 to 1994.

US releases

  1. "Our Lips Are Sealed" – The Go-Go's
  2. "Mexican Radio" [Edit] – Wall of Voodoo
  3. "Only a Lad" – Oingo Boingo
  4. "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" – Timbuk3
  5. "Save It for Later" – The English Beat
  6. "She Drives Me Crazy" – Fine Young Cannibals
  7. "Mad About You" [Single Mix] – Belinda Carlisle
  8. "Tenderness" – General Public
  9. "The One I Love" – R.E.M.
  10. "Joey" – Concrete Blonde
  11. "Rain in the Summertime" [Edit] – The Alarm
  12. "Dizz Knee Land" – Dada

UK releases

  1. "Our Lips Are Sealed" – The Go-Go's
  2. "Mexican Radio" [Edit] – Wall of Voodoo
  3. "68 Guns" – The Alarm
  4. "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" – Timbuk3
  5. "Spirit in the Sky" – Doctor and the Medics
  6. "Heartbreaker (At the End of Lonely Street)" – Dread Zeppelin
  7. "Camouflage" – Stan Ridgway
  8. "Mad About You" [Single Mix] – Belinda Carlisle
  9. "Hey, Matthew" – Karel Fialka
  10. "The One I Love" – R.E.M.
  11. "Joey" – Concrete Blonde
  12. "Holy Cow" – Jools Holland
  13. "Dizz Knee Land" – Dada

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The Police English rock band

The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the band consisted of Sting, Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland. The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s and are generally regarded as one of the first new-wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. They are also considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the U.S. They disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008.

Oingo Boingo was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. Oingo Boingo emerged from a surrealist performance art theatrical troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, founded in 1972 and led by Danny Elfman's brother Richard Elfman.

<i>Zenyatta Mondatta</i> 1980 album by The Police

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Stewart Copeland American musician; drummer of The Police

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Illegal Records British record label

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 in 1977. The label released The Police's debut single, "Fall Out".

Roxanne (song) 1978 single by The Police

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References

  1. 1 2 "I.R.S. Records History On A&M Records.com". Onamrecords.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. Hunt, Dennis (5 June 1988). "Going a Round With Miles Copeland". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  3. "UM Entertainment Management". Business.umt.edu. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  4. Peoples, Glenn (22 October 2013). "I.R.S. Nashville Imprint Names John Grady President". Billboard.com. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  5. Stark, Phyllis; Roland, Tom (16 December 2015). "Nashville Notes: Capitol's I.R.S. Nashville Label Shuttered; Zac Brown Band on the Move". Billboard.com. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  6. 1 2 Borthwick, Stuart; Moy, Ron (2004). Popular Music Genres: an introduction. Edinburgh University Press. p. 177. ISBN   9780748617456.
  7. Marko, Paul (2007). The Roxy London WC2: A Punk History. The Roxy Club London:Punk. p. 229. ISBN   0955658306.
  8. "Ocurrió aquí... El dance portugués salta a la fama". Redbull.com. Retrieved 30 August 2017.