IRS Records

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Matthew Mayfield and Logophile

Captures by
Matthew Mayfield and Logophile

Video captures courtesy of
Matthew Mayfield

Background

IRS (standing for International Record Syndicate) Records was a record label formed by Miles Copeland III, Jay Boberg, and Carl Grasso in 1979. It was the sister label of UK record company Illegal Records. Their products would be distributed by A&M Records until 1985, where it went under MCA Records until 1990, and finally at EMI before the label shut down in 1996. The label was best known for releasing many influential albums from new wave and alternative artists, like R.E.M., Wall of Voodoo, The Go-Go's, and Fine Young Cannibals, among others. In 2011, the label was revived by EMI. In 2013, after parent company EMI was integrated into Universal Music Group, it was revived again as IRS Nashville. That label would be shut down in 2015.

(1980s)

Logo: On a black background is a circle (representing a spotlight) with a brick wall inside as it scrolls down to the ground. It pans right until it passes some feet in black shoes before centering itself back to the feet. It scrolls upwards revealing the feet belong to a man in a suit wearing a derby hat and sunglasses while holding a cigarette. His head is looking down before he tilts it to a normal position. After which, the brick wall fades into a plain white background with the letters "I.R.S." above the man's head inside the circle. The word "PRESENTS" fades in below.

Technique: The animation of the circle and the man, the fading in of the company name.

Music/Sounds: A low-key jazzy beat played on cymbals with a four-note bass theme that repeats itself three times, ending on the third. It sounds vaguely similar to the intro of Elmer Bernstein's The Man With the Golden Arm theme.

Music/Sounds Variants: On Timbuk 3: Greetings from Eden Alley, the logo is silent.

Availability: Rare. Seen on VHS releases from the label, such as I.R.S. Presents Fine Young Cannibals and The Beast of I.R.S. Vol. 1. It also made a brief appearance on VH1's Behind the Music episode on R.E.M.

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