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Metallica Sells So Much Vinyl It Just Bought Its Own Pressing Plant

The group -- which pressed 900,000-plus pieces of vinyl in 2022 alone -- is acquiring most of Furnace Record Pressing in Virginia.

by Robert Levine, Billboard Pro, March 14, 2023

Metallica has always had a strong independent streak for a band that spent its formative years on a major label. Now, a decade after getting the rights back to their biggest albums, the band is buying Furnace Record Pressing, a plant in Alexandria, Va., to serve its vinyl business, which has grown by keeping catalog albums in print and releasing ambitious box sets aimed at its legions of hardcore fans.

For a decade, Furnace has pressed records for the band, which has a reputation for releasing high-quality vinyl. At a time of supply-chain issues and manufacturing delays, the plant helped the group keep most of its albums available, plus a growing number of ambitious box sets. (Its most recent “black album” box set includes a double LP of the album, three live LPs, 14 CDs and 6 DVDs.) Last year, the group pressed more than 902,500 pieces of vinyl for more than 620,000 packages, according to management, not all of which are made at Furnace. The band sells roughly half of these in the U.S.

(...) “Metallica over-indexes dramatically with physical product,” says Marc Reiter, who helps run Blackened Recordings, the band’s label. “The fans enjoy owning the physical product.”


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