IRS No Speak

IRS No Speak was another instrumental-only label, appearing in the early 90’s as opposed to the MCA Master Series and Universal Master Series, which were both products of the 80’s.  Also differing from the other series, IRS No Speak was intended to be anti-"new-age".  The music was more energetic, electric and driven than the smooth jazz stylings of the other master series.

The label’s catalog has 10 artists on the roster, with only one contributing more than one album.  However, No Speak did something unique in that it commissioned individual songs from rock artists who may not have wanted or been able to create an entire album of music.  Taking this into account, their roster of artists is much larger.

Like other labels, sampler albums were created to give a taste of the different music without having to buy an entire artist’s album.  No Speak had four sampler albums, two retail and two promotion-only releases.

One final unique aspect of this label is that they released a live album featuring some of the artists from the label, all playing together.  In the same vein as the MCA Master Series, where you had a stable of trained session musicians available to work on each other’s albums, this was a excellent display of synergy between the multiple artists.

All together, there are 20 albums in the series:  12 are individual artist albums, 3 are multi-artist compilations, 4 are samplers, and 1 live album.

Like the two other series mentioned here, The No Speak series initially tried to establish a consistent look among all its releases, giving a commonality between all the albums in the series.  Like the MCA Master Series, this design went through a few different phases, although with the short life of the series, these changes happened much quicker.  The first 4 albums would be considered design motif 1, which featured a grey textured background and yellow boxes on the spine with the label and catalog number.  The next 4 albums went with solid color backgrounds with white boxes on the spine in contrasting colors.  After the first 8 albums, any consistency concept was dropped and albums appeared in any design.  The first 8 albums were designed by The Leisure Process and the rest were by various designers.