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Description

Cooking Vinyl is a British independent record label, based in Acton, London, England. Founded in 1986 by former manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt and business partner Pete Lawrence. Goldschmidt remains the current owner and chairman, while Rob Collins is managing director. The company focuses on artist service-based deals where the artist retains ownership of their copyrights.

History

1986–1992

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 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.

In 1989, the company was close to bankruptcy when their distributors, Rough Trade, went into receivership. Pete Lawrence sold his stake in the business to Martin Goldschmidt who continued the business while servicing the debt of the company of a period of five years.

1993–1999

Besides traditional royalty agreements, Cooking Vinyl developed ‘artist services’ deals in the 1990s, where the artist retains ownership of the copyright of their recorded material. The first of these contracts was done in 1993 for the reissue of Billy Bragg's Back To Basics compilation.

Since then, Bragg has re-engaged with Cooking Vinyl a total of six times, most recently in 2013 for the release of studio album Tooth And Nail.

Cooking Vinyl has provided similar services for Alison Moyet, Black Spiders, Gary Numan, James Skelly & The Intenders, Madness, Pigeon Detectives, Reverend and The Makers, Ron Sexsmith, and The View.

2000–2010

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.

Also released in 2012 was 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 No. 5 in Germany, No. 10 in the US, and topping Billboard's Hard Rock and Independent album chart. In the UK, Manson reached No. 14 in the Official Albums Chart and No. 1 in the UK Rock Albums Chart.

2011–2020

2014 saw the return of Embrace and their self-titled album, which debuted in the charts at No. 5. In the same year New York rockers The Pretty Reckless reached No. 8, with their second studio album.

In 2015, The Prodigy released their album The Day Is My Enemy, which reached number 1 on the charts, and was certified gold in the UK.

In 2016, Passenger claimed the UK No. 1 album with Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea. This year also saw singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt sign a global artist services deal with Cooking Vinyl.

In 2018, Lucy Spraggan, former contestant on The X Factor, signed to both Cooking Vinyl Records and Publishing on a long-term global artist services deal.

Cooking Vinyl has 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 in the 2010s include Counting Crows, Ryan Adams, Suzanne Vega, The Cult, The Charlatans, The Cranberries, Richard Ashcroft (CV licensed the Righteous Phonographic released album These People, with Ashcroft going on to be signed by BMG), The Subways, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gary Numan, The Enemy, Groove Armada, The Proclaimers, James, Seth Lakeman, UB40, City and Colour and The Dropkick Murphys.

2021–present

In December 2021, Clair Grogan announced that the first Altered Images album in over 38 years would be released in August 2022 on Cooking Vinyl and would be called Mascara Streakz. The album has been recorded  with Bobby Bluebell from The Bluebells and Bernard Butler, formally of Suede and McAlmont & Butler. 

As of December 2021, other artists signed to Cooking Vinyl include Alison Moyet, Eliza & The Delusionals, Lissie, Nina Nesbitt, The Orb, Will Young, Passenger, The Waterboys, BABYMETAL, Fickle Friends, Lucy Spraggan, Rumer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Darkness, The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Bragg, Del Amitri, Kiefer Sutherland, Reverend And The Makers, Suzanne Vega, The Fratellis, The Rifles, and Willy Mason.

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