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.

2014 has seen Cooking Vinyl enjoy continued success with Embrace’s self-titled album Embrace debuting at #5 in the UK Albums Chart, The Pretty Reckless’ Going To Hell reaching #8, James’ La Petite Mort entering at #11, and Röyksopp & Robyn’s Do It Again taking #20. Other releases include The Rifles (#21), Reverend & The Makers (#13), Suzanne Vega (#37), Skindred (#28), and Seth Lakeman (#20), with new music from Adam Cohen, Ali Campbell and more still to come.

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 who was signed in 2000 and has had 17 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’senduring 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.

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.

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).

In 2014 Cooking Vinyl was nominated for the AIM Independent Label of the Year Award.

Cooking Vinyl Records is a member of the Cooking Vinyl Group of companies, which also includes Essential Music & Marketing, CV America, Cooking Vinyl Australia, Cooking Vinyl PublishingDoubleCross Records and The Other Hand.