United Record Pressing, based in Nashville, is the largest record pressing plant in North America. Operating for over 65 years, it has pressed more than a few legendary albums: the first Beatles 7-inch released in America, most of Motown’s artists, Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose,” Jay-Z’s “The Black Album,” and even Jack White’s record-breaking “Lazaretto.” Benefiting from the recent revival of vinyl—an estimated 40 million units will be sold worldwide in 2017, with sales nearing $1 billion—United Record Pressing moved to a bigger and better location in 2016 to cater for the growing demand. Today, it employs 150 people and produces between 40,000 and 50,000 pieces of vinyl a day, operating 24 hours a day, six days a week. Photographer Andrea Morales was given a tour.

The floor where records are pressed.
1. Wes Garland, an engineer at Nashville Record Productions, works in the mastering studio. / 2. Joe Bennett, an employee of more than 40 years, works at his record press.
Wax beads are heated and pressed into what is called a puck or a biscuit before being pressed into records.
1. Wes Garland inspects a record. / 2. Jacob Moon, a quality control employee, watches and listens to a spinning record. Every 50th record is checked.
Janice Jones, an inspector, studies the vinyl before sliding it into its sleeve for packaging and shipping.
1. Donnie Morris, a print shop employee, has been working with the company for 17 years. / 2. Claudette Bird, a shipping clerk, in the warehouse.
The exterior of the old United Record Pressing building at 435 Chestnut Street in Nashville. Motown Records is one of the company’s largest clients and, during segregation, recording artists of color that came to Nashville stayed in what was called the “Motown suites” in this building’s second floor.

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