IRS

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I.R.S. (International Record Syndicate) Records was a record label, started in the United States in 1979 by Miles Copeland III along with Jay Boberg and Carl Grasso. Miles was also the manager of Wishbone Ash, The Police, and later, Sting, as well as other bands. I.R.S. was the sister label of Copeland’s Illegal Records (UK).

I.R.S. releases were distributed by A&M Records until 1985, by MCA Records until 1990, and finally by EMI (which bought the label in 1994) until the label folded in 1996.

Acts on I.R.S. included Wishbone Ash, English Beat, Nuclear Assault, R.E.M., Human Switchboard, The Cramps, Go-Go’s, The Fleshtones, Oingo Boingo, Squeeze, Suburban Lawns, Over the Rhine, The Buzzcocks, The Alarm, Gary Numan, Wall of Voodoo, General Public, Belinda Carlisle, Camper Van Beethoven, Dread Zeppelin, Lords of the New Church, Fine Young Cannibals, Black Sabbath and Concrete Blonde. An instrumental-only imprint, I.R.S. No Speak, released albums by Wishbone Ash, Miles’ younger brother Stewart Copeland (The Police) and William Orbit. I.R.S. also produced the feature film Shakes the Clown, which starred Bobcat Goldthwait. They released David Lynch and Alan R. Splet’s soundtrack to Eraserhead in the 80s.

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.

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  • THee-BeAtNiK

    Wonderful Record label.

    May 2011
  • duranadelic

    IRS was a great label. Everytime I saw that logo on an album, I knew it was something I was going to like.

    August 2008
  • eighteenforever

    REM's best years were with IRS

    July 2008
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