How I.R.S. Records Infiltrated
The Music Establishment
We Were Once Rebels
In 1979 the music industry was poised to undergo a change of seismic proportions. The industry was finally about to catch up with an underground movement that had begun in earnest in 1976.
The kids already knew all about punk, new wave and all of the other variations of weirdly unique bands that would eventually come to be called Alternative Music. And the Record companies, mired in the old styles of arena rock and disco...were about to get a clue.
This is the story of I.R.S. Records and its unlikely rise to prominence.
Led by Miles Copeland and Jay Boberg, this novice, yet earnest group of twenty-somethings forged a path to success. Through bootstrapping and guerrilla marketing, I.R.S. became the coolest label of the 1980s. And, in doing so...opened the door for the world to hear some incredible (and incredibly original) artists.
Bands like R.E.M, Go-Go's, Oingo Boingo, English Beat, Concrete Blonde, Buzzcocks, Fine Young Cannibals and numerous others found a home at the label.
That success, however, was to be fleeting.
I.R.S. moved its distribution from A&M to MCA, and ultimately EMI, which led to a more stringent corporate environment. Some of the staff and artists became disillusioned by the growth. And, having forged the way for punk and new wave to find the market...other labels (with larger checkbooks) followed. In many ways, I.R.S. was a victim of its own success.
This film explores that story while examining how many things that start rebellious, with success...become the very establishment against which they were rebelling.
This film is produced by Area 51 Film Group, LLC
Producer/Director - Lawrence Porter