Cooking Vinyl

About Cooking Vinyl


Established in 1986, Cooking Vinyl has developed a reputation as one of Europe’s prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artist roster. It is also in the vanguard of music companies offering innovative services-only deals that claim no stake in artists’ copyrights.

Artists signed to Cooking Vinyl include Marilyn Manson, Billy Bragg, Röyksopp, Madness, James, Gary Numan, Amanda Palmer, The Pretty Reckless, Groove Armada, The Cult, and The Prodigy, whose Invaders Must Die became Europe and the UK’s biggest selling independent record in 2009.

Key to the company’s longevity is its reputation as an artist-friendly label. In 1993 Cooking Vinyl signed one of the first label services deals with Billy Bragg, who has since re-signed to the label a total of six times. Many other acts return year after year, release after release, including The Pixies’ Charles Thompson (AKA Frank Black) who signed in 2000 and has had 18 releases to date with the label as Frank Black and Black Francis. Since 1994, Cooking Vinyl has released 23 albums by former Doll By Doll man, the late (and great) Jackie Leven.

Based out of solar-powered headquarters in West London, the company’s enduring success is also testament to its willingness to approach the business of selling music with open ears and open minds, whilst retaining its independence. Cooking Vinyl takes full responsibility for the management of a project, whether working via a traditional royalty-based deal or in a label services capacity. Adding more than just marketing muscle, Cooking Vinyl devises and implements worldwide sales and distribution plans for its artists, working alongside management and booking agents.

The company has consistently been at 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. Later on, Cooking Vinyl set up its own online distribution company, Uploader, which was then sold to the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA).

Cooking Vinyl was set up by former artist manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt, who remains owner and managing director, and distribution manager Pete Lawrence. They initially ran the business out of a spare room in Goldschmidt’s council house in Stockwell, South London. In 1986, the label released The Texas Campfire Tapes, an impromptu live performance by the singer Michelle Shocked recorded at a folk festival on a portable cassette machine with fading batteries. The release went on to sell 250,000 copies worldwide.

Cooking Vinyl enjoyed continued success in 2014 with the return of Embrace and their self-titled album debuting at #5. New York rockers The Pretty Reckless reached #8 with their second studio album Going To Hell, while Manchester’s finest James hit #11 with La Petite Mort. Other releases include Röyksopp & Robyn’s mini album Do It Again (#20), The Rifles (#21), Reverend & The Makers (#13), Suzanne Vega (#37), Skindred (#28), Seth Lakeman (#20) and Ali Campbell (#18). In 2014 Cooking Vinyl was nominated for the AIM Independent Label of the Year Award.

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. 2015 was a busy year, with exciting new releases from Stornoway (#20), Reverend and The Makers (#16), Marilyn Manson (#16), and The Fratellis (#16).

Cooking Vinyl also curated a series of panel discussions addressing the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, simply called The Future Of… Cooking Vinyl’s Sync Team was nominated for the Music Week Sync Awards, while their Head of Digital won the Music Week Women in Music Rising Star Award

2016 looks set to continue the label’s success with new offerings from The Cult, Lissie, Richard Ashcroft and Turin Brakes on the horizon. Cooking Vinyl Records is a member of the Cooking Vinyl Group of companies, which also includes CV America, CV Australia and CV Publishing.