Cooking Vinyl

Cooking Vinyl is a British independent record label, based in Acton, London, England.[1] Founded in 1986 by former manager and booking agent Martin Goldschmidt and business partner Pete Lawrence.[2] 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.[3]

Cooking Vinyl
BusinessCard White-Outline-1.png
FounderMartin Goldschmidt
Pete Lawrence
Distributor(s)The Orchard (UK, US and Canada)
CV Australia (Australia)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
LocationLondon, England (HQ)
Melbourne, Australia
New York, United States
Official websiteCooking Vinyl
Cooking Vinyl Publishing Motus Music



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.[4]

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

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.[6]


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.[3] The first of these contracts was done in 1993 for the reissue of Billy Bragg's Back To Basics compilation.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9][10]


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.[11]

In 2012, Amanda Palmer, an advocate of the DIY approach,[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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[15] in the Official Albums Chart and No. 1 in the UK Rock Albums Chart.[16]


2014 saw the return of Embrace and their self-titled album, which debuted in the charts at No. 5.[17] In the same year New York rockers The Pretty Reckless reached No. 8,[18] with their second studio album.

In 2015, The Prodigy released their album The Day Is My Enemy, which reached number 1 on the charts,[19] and was certified gold in the UK.

In 2016, Passenger claimed the UK No. 1 album[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

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.[4]

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),[23][24][25] 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.[4]


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.[26][27] The album has been recorded [28] with Bobby Bluebell from The Bluebells and Bernard Butler, formally of Suede and McAlmont & Butler. [29]

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,[30][31][32] The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Bragg, Del Amitri, Kiefer Sutherland, Reverend And The Makers, Suzanne Vega, The Fratellis, The Rifles, and Willy Mason[33]

Sister companiesEdit

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.[34]

RED Distribution, 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.[35]

CV America

Cooking Vinyl America was originally launched in 2012. In 2016, Howie Gabriel was named President.[36] The US operation provides strategic services to the CV Group, including artist/label acquisition, marketing, distribution and business strategy. Cooking Vinyl America is based in New York City.

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.[37] In February 2018, Sony Music Australia acquired a portion of Cooking Vinyl Australia.[38]

Cooking Vinyl Publishing

Cooking Vinyl Publishing was formed in 2008[39] and is headed by former manager and Warner/Chappell exec Ryan Farley,[40] who joined in August 2018. The company has a diverse roster with current writers including Tom Speight, C Duncan, Vitto Meirelles, Isobel Campbell, Lucy Spraggan, 485C, 65 Days of Static and Palestinian acts DAM, 47 Soul and Le Trio Joubran.

The company's catalogue includes songs by artists such as Reverend & The Makers, The Rifles, Amber Run, Roll Deep, Meursalt, Tal National, Audio Bullys, Exit Calm and The Virgin Marys. It also has co-publishing partnerships with Brighton-based Fat Cat Records and UK jazz label Edition Music.

Motus Music

In March 2019 The Cooking Vinyl Group announced they had acquired a 50% share in production music start up Motus Music.[41]




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Cooking Vinyl Reveals 30th Anniversary Plans". Music Week. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Label profiles: Four independents under the spotlight". The Independent. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Hot Seat: Martin Goldschmidt – Founder, Cooking Vinyl". The Music Network. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Cooking Vinyl's Martin Goldschmidt On 30 Years of Indie Music". 7 October 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ "New Take On Music Crowdfunding From Cooking Vinyl's Pete Lawrence & Book Publisher Unbound". 29 March 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Cooking Vinyl's Martin Goldschmidt On 30 Years of Indie Music". 7 October 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Why music is still good business". The Telegraph. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Billy Bragg re-signs with Cooking Vinyl". Music Week. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  9. ^ Label Services Report, Music Week, 18 April 2013, p. 13
  10. ^ "Cooking Vinyl's Martin Goldschmidt On Universal-EMI Deal, Marilyn Manson, the Rise of Indies". Billboard. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Cooking Vinyl cuts deals with UB40's Ali Campbell, Seth Lakeman". 3 May 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Palmer to work with Cooking Vinyl on kickstarted album release". Complete Music Update. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Amanda Palmer Partners With U.K. Indie Cooking Vinyl For European Album Release". Billboard. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Marilyn Manson Plots 2011 Comeback with Indie Label". Billboard. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Cooking Vinyl toasts global Marilyn Manson success". Music Week. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  16. ^ "2012 Top 40 Rock & Metal Albums Archive 12th May 2012". Official Charts Company. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  17. ^ "EMBRACE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  18. ^ "PRETTY RECKLESS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  19. ^ "The Prodigy score sixth Number 1 album". Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Passenger scores first UK Number 1 album: "This is so unbelievably exciting!!"". Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Nina Nesbitt signs to Cooking Vinyl". Music Week. Music Week.
  22. ^ "Lucy Spraggan - New Songs, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Richard Ashcroft | the Official Website".
  24. ^ "Richard Ashcroft | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". Official Charts.
  26. ^ "Altered Images readying first album in 38 years". 2 October 2021.
  27. ^ "Altered Images / Mascara Streakz – SuperDeluxeEdition".
  28. ^ "Altered Images return with Cooking Vinyl deal".
  29. ^ "Clare Grogan announces Altered Images reunion as new album gets set for release". October 2021.
  30. ^ "The Darkness | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  31. ^ "Motorheart | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company".
  33. ^ "Artists".
  34. ^ "Q&A: Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing". Complete Music Update. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  35. ^ "Sony acquires Essential Music & Marketing, launches Red Essential - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Cooking Vinyl America names Howie Gabriel President as it expands in US - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  37. ^ "U.K. Indie Cooking Vinyl Launches in Australia". Billboard. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  38. ^ "Sony Music buys chunk of Cooking Vinyl Australia with 'significant investment'". 13 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Cooking Vinyl reignites publishing arm | News | Music Week". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  40. ^ "Ryan Farley named Managing Director of Cooking Vinyl Publishing - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Cooking Vinyl invests in production music and sync specialist Motus Music". Music Business Worldwide. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Del Amitri / Fatal Mistakes | superdeluxeedition".
  43. ^ "Michael Messer | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2016.

External linksEdit