Various Artists – Cooking Vinyl 1986-2016

Andy Jones reviews the genre-spanning 7-LP boxset to mark the 30th Anniversary of Cooking Vinyl…

cooking vinyl


To mark the 30th anniversary of Cooking Vinyl, the stalwart UK indie label, a number of events are planned, including a new book entitled It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You – 30 Lessons From The Cooking Vinyl Story and this whopping seven-album set featuring 70 tracks from the imprint’s catalogue.

Arranged chronologically, the discs take in a huge range of artists and genres. Oysterband’s Hal On Tow opens up the proceedings in a fittingly brash fashion, but from then on we take turns a plenty with The Barely Works straddling folk and reggae with Byker Hill, Tom Robinson sounding as good as ever belting out a 1992 version of War Baby and, as we tear through the 90s, the Poison Girls’ Old Tart’s Song and The Mekons’ Fletcher Christian showing that this is a label that can be funny and smart. There are so many more treats, from Luke Vibert, The Wedding Present, Echo & Bunnymen, The Prodigy, Suzanne Vega and Alison Moyet – even Gary Numan pops up.
With such a mountain of talent, there’s sure to be stuff you won’t like but I’d be willing to bet that you’ll still appreciate it on some level – that’s Cooking Vinyl for you. There’s only one thing linking all of this music together and it’s that all of the artists are, well, just so darned cool. And if that isn’t reason enough to enter
this vinyl kitchen, then take one further note: all profits from the label’s 30th anniversary activities will be donated to charity. Viva Cooking Vinyl!