CV Australia (Australia)
RED Distribution (USA)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Official website||Cooking Vinyl UK
Cooking Vinyl Australia
Cooking Vinyl Publishing
Cooking Vinyl is a UK based independent record company, founded in 1986 by former manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt and business partner Pete Lawrence. Goldschmidt remains the current owner and managing director. The company is based in Acton, London.
Cooking Vinyl Records operates as part of the Cooking Vinyl Group, which also comprises CV America, Cooking Vinyl Australia, and Cooking Vinyl Publishing. Cooking Vinyl is home to artists such as The Prodigy, Billy Bragg, Richard Ashcroft, The View, Frank Black, Marilyn Manson, Reverend and the Makers, Gary Numan, Amanda Palmer and Röyksopp.
Cooking Vinyl was set up in 1986 by former manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt and distribution manager Pete Lawrence, who initially ran the business as a part-time venture out of a spare room in Goldschmidt's council house in Stockwell, South London.
In 1986 Cooking Vinyl famously recorded an impromptu live performance around a campfire at a folk festival by the singer Michelle Shocked, on a Sony Walkman with fading batteries. One of its first releases, Cooking Vinyl released the recording as The Campfire Tapes, and it sold 250,000 copies worldwide.
Originally orientated towards contemporary folk music with bands such as Oysterband, Cowboy Junkies and Jackie Leven, Cooking Vinyl Records has grown and diversified into releasing rock, metal, indie, punk and electronica.
1993: Artist services deals
As well as its more traditional royalty agreements, Cooking Vinyl is widely regarded as a pioneer of ‘artist services’ deals where the artist retains ownership of the copyrights. The company’s first such deal came in 1993 with a reissue of Billy Bragg's Back To Basics compilation. Since then, Bragg has re-signed to Cooking Vinyl a total of six times, most recently in 2013 for the release of studio album Tooth And Nail.
Cooking Vinyl has also delivered services deals for Alison Moyet, Black Spiders, Gary Numan, James Skelly & The Intenders, Madness, Pigeon Detectives, Reverend and The Makers, Ron Sexsmith, and The View.
Cooking Vinyl has consistently been in the forefront of the digital revolution. It was the first European label to do a deal with the MP3 download site eMusic and the first to enter negotiations with the peer to peer file-sharing company Kazaa. In 2005 Cooking Vinyl set up its own online distribution company, Uploader, which was sold in 2007 to the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), one of the best online distributors in the world.
Cooking Vinyl has had international success from the start with Michelle Shocked The Texas Campfire Tapes selling 250,000 worldwide. Other notable releases include the Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions and Ryan Adams debut solo studio album Heartbreaker in 2000, which sold 100,000 in the UK alone.
In 2009, Cooking Vinyl partnered on the release of The Prodigy's fifth studio album Invaders Must Die, which went on to sell 1.2 million units worldwide and was the biggest-selling independent record of the year in Europe.
In 2012, Amanda Palmer, an advocate of the DIY approach, announced that she was partnering with Cooking Vinyl in a distribution and label services deal for the European release of her studio album Theatre Is Evil. The album was funded through a high-profile Kickstarter campaign that raised over $1.2 million in 30 days.
Another notable campaign from that year was the release of Marilyn Manson’s Born Villain under a joint-venture partnership between Manson's own label Hell, etc. and Cooking Vinyl. The album was a global success charting at #5 in Germany, #10 in the US, and topping Billboard's Hard Rock and Independent album chart. Across the rest of Europe the album peaked at #4 in Austria, #6 in France and #2 in Switzerland. In the UK Manson reached #14  in the Official Albums Chart and #1 in the UK Rock Albums Chart.
In 2013 Cooking Vinyl was nominated for the AIM Independent Label of the Year Award.
Cooking Vinyl enjoyed continued success in 2014 with the return of Embrace and their self-titled album debuting at #5 and New York rockers The Pretty Reckless reaching #8 with their second studio album.
In 2015 Cooking Vinyl topped the charts again with The Prodigy’s number 1 album The Day Is My Enemy, which was certified gold in the UK and in 2016 Passenger claimed the Official UK No.1 Album with Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea.
Cooking Vinyl is noted for its long relationships with many of its artists. The Pixies' Charles Thompson was signed in 2000 and has had 17 releases to date with the label as Frank Black and Black Francis. Since 1994, former Doll By Doll man Jackie Leven has had 23 releases, five of them in 2009.
Other key artists that have released through the label include, Counting Crows, Ryan Adams, Suzanne Vega, The Cult, The Charlatans, The Cranberries, Lissie, Richard Ashcroft, The Subways, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Enemy, Groove Armada, The Orb, The Proclaimers, James, The Rifles, Seth Lakeman, Suzanne Vega, UB40, City and Colour and The Dropkick Murphy’s.
In August 2012, Cooking Vinyl launched its rock imprint, DoubleCross Records. The current roster includes UK ragga metal band Skindred, who signed to DoubleCross in a new worldwide record deal in January 2013.
Essential Music & Marketing
In 2003, Vital Distribution's managing director Mike Chadwick teamed up with Cooking Vinyl’s Martin Goldschmidt to launch Essential Music & Marketing, an independent distributor and service provider.
RED, the Sony Music UK artist and label services division, announced the acquisition of Essential Music and Marketing in March 2016. As part of this deal, a new company was launched, Red Essential, which is based at The Cooking Vinyl Group’s West London offices.
In October 2012, the Cooking Vinyl Group launched CV America, headed up by CEO Erik Gilbert. CV America provides strategic services to the CV Group, including artist/label acquisition, marketing and distribution, and business strategy. It also acts as a stand-alone music publisher, with the ability to sign new writers and exploit Cooking Vinyl Publishing copyrights in the US.
Cooking Vinyl Australia
Cooking Vinyl Australia was formed in September 2013. Based in Melbourne and helmed by former Shock Records executives, Leigh Gruppetta and Stu Harvey, the label signs both local and international artists, and represents the wider Cooking Vinyl Records roster in Australia and New Zealand.
Cooking Vinyl Publishing
Cooking Vinyl Publishing is headed by Paul Kinder, a former director at Chrysalis. The company has an equally diverse roster with current writers including Reverend & The Makers, The Rifles, 65daysofstatic, Tom the Lion, Exit Calm and The Virginmarys.
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