Cooking Vinyl

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Cooking Vinyl
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Founded 1986
Founder Martin Goldschmidt
Pete Lawrence
Distributor(s) The Orchard (UK, US)
Sony (Canada)
CV Australia (Australia)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location London, UK (HQ)
Melbourne, Australia
New York, United States
Official website Cooking Vinyl UK
Cooking Vinyl Australia
Cooking Vinyl Publishing

Cooking Vinyl is a UK-based independent record company,[1] founded in 1986 by former manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt and business partner Pete Lawrence.[2] Goldschmidt remains the current owner and managing director. The company is based in Acton, London.

Established in 1986, Cooking Vinyl boasts emphasis on artist-driven deals with bespoke services-only contracts that claim no stake in artists' copyrights.[3] The first such deal drawn up in 1993 with Billy Bragg who has since re-signed to the label a total of seven times.[4] Many other acts return year after year, release after release, including Pixies' Charles Thompson (AKA Frank Black) with 18 releases to date with the label, and starting in 1994 Cooking Vinyl released 23 albums by the former Doll By Doll man, the late Jackie Leven.[5]

In 2015 and 2016 the label received acclaim, being described by Uncut magazine as “a template for modern independent record companies”. After topping the charts in 2015 with The Prodigy’s “The Day is My Enemy”,[6] this feat was repeated in 2016 with the global success of Passenger’s “Young as the Morning Old as the Sea”.[7] Both records qualified for a silver disc in the UK. This same year, Richard Ashcroft reached the UK top 3 with “These People”,[8] his first album in six years. The Fratellis,[9] The View,[10] Reverend & The Makers,[11] Turin Brakes,[12] The Cult,[13] Billy Bragg & Joe Henry,[14] Feeder,[1] Area 11,[15] The Rifles[16] and Seth Lakeman[17] also reached the UK top 40, thus fulfilling the entry criteria for the BRIT Awards 2017 “Album of the Year” category. In these years, Cooking Vinyl Australia notched up a number 1 album with Parkway Drive,[18] and top 5 entries with City and Colour and Kate Miller-Heidke. In 2016, the label opened a North American subsidiary, Cooking Vinyl America, whose first release was The Dillinger Escape Plan's Dissociation.[19]



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.[20]


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.[21] One of its first releases, Cooking Vinyl released the recording as The Campfire Tapes, and it sold 250,000 copies worldwide.[1]

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[edit]

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.[22] The company’s first such deal came in 1993 with a reissue of Billy Bragg's Back To Basics compilation.[23] 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.[24]

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.[25][26]

Digital era[edit]

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.[20] 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.,[20] who were in turn bought by The Orchard.

Commercial success[edit]

Cooking Vinyl has had international success from the start with Michelle Shocked The Texas Campfire Tapes selling 250,000 worldwide.[1] 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.[20]

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.[27]

In 2012, Amanda Palmer, an advocate of the DIY approach,[28] 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.[29]

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.[30] 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[31] in the Official Albums Chart and #1 in the UK Rock Albums Chart.[32]

Cooking Vinyl enjoyed continued success in 2014 with the return of Embrace and their self-titled album debuting at #5[33] and New York rockers The Pretty Reckless reaching #8[34] with their second studio album.

In 2015 Cooking Vinyl topped the charts again with The Prodigy’s number 1[35] album The Day Is My Enemy, which was certified gold in the UK and in 2016 Passenger claimed the Official UK No.1 Album[36] 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.[20]

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.[20]

Sister companies[edit]

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.[37]

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. The company is now located in Farringdon.[38]

CV America

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.[39] In 2016, Howie Gabriel was named president of CV America, opening up the label's first office in New York City.[40]

Cooking Vinyl Australia

Cooking Vinyl Australia was formed in September 2013. The stand-alone company is 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 Cooking Vinyl Records roster in Australia and New Zealand under license.[41] In February 2018, Sony Music Australia acquired a portion of Cooking Vinyl Australia.[42]

Cooking Vinyl Publishing

Cooking Vinyl Publishing is headed by Paul Kinder, a former director at Chrysalis.[43] 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.[44]


Current artists[edit]

Past artists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "25 years of Cooking Vinyl". Music Week. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  2. ^ "Label profiles: Four independents under the spotlight". The Independent. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  3. ^ "About Cooking Vinyl - UK based Independent Record Label". 
  4. ^ "Pure Gold: Martin Goldschmidt on Cooking Vinyl's unplanned success - [PIAS]". [PIAS]. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  5. ^ "About Cooking Vinyl - UK based Independent Record Label". Cooking Vinyl. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  6. ^ "PRODIGY | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Passenger | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  8. ^ "RICHARD ASHCROFT | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  9. ^ "FRATELLIS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  10. ^ "VIEW | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  11. ^ "REVEREND & THE MAKERS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  12. ^ "TURIN BRAKES | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  13. ^ "CULT | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  14. ^ "BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  15. ^ "AREA 11 | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  16. ^ "RIFLES | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  17. ^ "SETH LAKEMAN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  18. ^ "Parkway Drive Earns First Hard Rock Albums No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  19. ^ "The Dillinger Escape Plan - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Cooking Vinyl - About". Cooking Vinyl. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  21. ^ "New Take On Music Crowdfunding From Cooking Vinyl's Pete Lawrence & Book Publisher Unbound". 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  22. ^ "Hot Seat: Martin Goldschmidt – Founder, Cooking Vinyl". The Music Network. 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  23. ^ "Why music is still good business". The Telegraph. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  24. ^ "Billy Bragg re-signs with Cooking Vinyl". Music Week. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  25. ^ Label Services Report, Music Week, 2013-04-18, p. 13 
  26. ^ "Cooking Vinyl's Martin Goldschmidt On Universal-EMI Deal, Marilyn Manson, the Rise of Indies". Billboard. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  27. ^ "Cooking Vinyl cuts deals with UB40's Ali Campbell, Seth Lakeman". 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  28. ^ "Palmer to work with Cooking Vinyl on kickstarted album release". Complete Music Update. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  29. ^ "Amanda Palmer Partners With U.K. Indie Cooking Vinyl For European Album Release". Billboard. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  30. ^ "Marilyn Manson Plots 2011 Comeback with Indie Label". Billboard. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  31. ^ "Cooking Vinyl toasts global Marilyn Manson success". Music Week. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  32. ^ "2012 Top 40 Rock & Metal Albums Archive 12th May 2012". Official Charts Company. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  33. ^ "EMBRACE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  34. ^ "PRETTY RECKLESS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  35. ^ "The Prodigy score sixth Number 1 album". Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  36. ^ "Passenger scores first UK Number 1 album: "This is so unbelievably exciting!!"". Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  37. ^ "Q&A: Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing". Complete Music Update. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  38. ^ "Sony acquires Essential Music & Marketing, launches Red Essential - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  39. ^ "CV America unveils new publishing services model". Record of the Day. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  40. ^ "Cooking Vinyl America names Howie Gabriel President as it expands in US - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  41. ^ "U.K. Indie Cooking Vinyl Launches in Australia". Billboard. 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  42. ^ "Sony Music buys chunk of Cooking Vinyl Australia with 'significant investment' - Music Business Worldwide". 13 February 2018. 
  43. ^ "Cooking Vinyl reignites publishing arm". Music Week. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  44. ^ "Writers | Cooking Vinyl Publishing". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  45. ^ "Michael Messer | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 

External links[edit]