Marilyn Manson plots comeback for 2011

By Andre Paine
Billboard.Com / November 10, 2010

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A year after being dropped by Interscope, Marilyn Manson is planning his comeback on UK indie label Cooking Vinyl.

Manson has agreed to form a joint-venture partnership between his own imprint Hell, etc. and the London-based label. The deal covers his next album, due in fall 2011, with an option for the album after that. Cooking Vinyl will handle worldwide distribution, marketing, and promotion.

On the face of it, the two parties make unlikely bedfellows. Cooking Vinyl launched in 1986 as a contemporary folk label but has since broadened its repertoire and scored a major success with the Prodigy’s 2009 comeback album, “Invaders Must Die.’’

Cooking Vinyl managing director Martin Goldschmidt says that record — released under a licensing agreement with the Prodigy’s own imprint, Take Me to the Hospital — has generated worldwide sales of 1.3 million. The label has also had success with global service deals for established acts like Underworld, Groove Armada and the Charlatans.

Manson’s manager, Tony Ciulla of Ciulla Management in Los Angeles, says he declined offers from other labels after being impressed with Cooking Vinyl’s work on “Invaders Must Die’’ internationally. The indie’s “passion and conviction for recognizing Manson as a rock icon and genuine enthusiasm to be part of his future career was key in doing the deal,’’ he says.

Cooking Vinyl expects to release the album in 45 countries, although in some territories it will license the set to local labels. Goldschmidt’s initial global sales target for the album is 500,000 units, which he expects will be Cooking Vinyl’s biggest US release to date. The label released “Invaders Must Die’’ through distributor RED, generating US sales of 53,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Manson’s previous set, “The High End of Low,’’ bowed at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in May 2009 and has sold 137,000 units, according to SoundScan. Manson’s total US album sales stand at 8.7 million, with 1996’s “Antichrist Superstar’’ the biggest seller with 1.9 million units. He has scored two previous No. 1 albums: 1998’s “Mechanical Animals’’ and 2003’s “The Golden Age of Grotesque.’’

The Cooking Vinyl team has yet to hear the new record, which is being recorded in Hollywood with longtime Manson collaborator Twiggy Ramirez. But Goldschmidt believes the break with Interscope will inspire the artist.

“Manson’s in that mood where he really wants to come back fighting,’’ he says.