Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden Producer Martin Birch Has Died at 71 Years Old




Martin Birch (27 December 1948 – 9 August 2020) was a British music producer and sound engineer. He became renowned for engineering and producing albums recorded predominantly by British rock bands, including Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, and Iron Maiden.


Birch died on 9 August 2020, at age 71. The cause of death was undisclosed. Initial tributes were paid by David Coverdale, Geezer Butler and Wendy Dio. Members of Iron Maiden offered a lengthy tribute to Birch on their official website, with Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson & Rod Smallwood reflecting on his personality and his time working with the band.





Birch was born on 27 December 1948 in Woking, Surrey. He began his career in music as an audio engineer with Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, producing and engineering eleven albums for the latter. In 1980, coming from the "Deep Purple camp", he was called upon by Black Sabbath for Heaven and Hell.


The band's previous albums had been self-produced and they were happy to let Birch, who had worked with Ronnie James Dio before, produce them. His "bright midrange" on the album is especially noted. He began a long tenure working exclusively with Iron Maiden in 1981, producing and engineering Killers and retiring from working with other bands for a while.




The song "Hard Lovin' Man" from the Deep Purple album Deep Purple in Rock is dedicated to him: "For Martin Birch – catalyst".





Deep Purple Machine Head Full Album



Production


Martin Birch – engineering, mixing with Deep Purple

Jeremy "Bear" Gee – assistant engineer

Nick Watterton – Rolling Stones Mobile Studio operator

Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart – equipment technicians

Shephard Sherbell – photography

Roger Glover and John Coletta – cover design




Selected discography

Source: AllMusic unless otherwise stated.



Fleetwood Mac


1969 – Then Play On (engineer)

1970 – Kiln House (engineer)

1972 – Bare Trees (engineer)

1973 – Penguin (producer, engineer, mixing)

1973 – Mystery to Me (producer, engineer, guitar)


Deep Purple


1969 – Concerto for Group and Orchestra (engineer)

1970 – Deep Purple in Rock (engineer)

1971 – Fireball (engineer)

1972 – Machine Head (engineer)

1972 – Made in Japan (engineer)

1973 – Who Do We Think We Are (engineer)

1974 – Burn (engineer, mixing)

1974 – Stormbringer (co-producer, engineer, mixing)

1975 – Come Taste the Band (co-producer, engineer, mixing)

1977 – Last Concert in Japan (co-producer, engineer) – recorded live in December 1975


Jon Lord


1971 – Jon Lord – Gemini Suite (engineer)

1976 – Jon Lord – Sarabande (producer, engineer, remixing)


Bernie Marsden


1979 - Bernie Marsden - And About Time Too (producer, engineer)


Wishbone Ash


1970 – Wishbone Ash (engineer)

1971 – Pilgrimage (engineer)

1972 – Argus (engineer)


Rainbow


1975 – Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow (co-producer, engineer, mixing)

1976 – Rising (producer, engineer, mixing)

1977 – On Stage (producer, engineer, mixing) – recorded live in 1976

1978 – Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (producer, engineer, mixing)

1986 – Finyl Vinyl (producer) – collection


Whitesnake


1978 – Snakebite (producer)

1978 – Trouble (producer)

1978 – Live at Hammersmith (producer)

1979 – Lovehunter (producer, engineer)

1980 – Ready an' Willing (producer, engineer, mixing)

1980 – Live... in the Heart of the City (producer, engineer) – recorded live in 1978 and 1980

1981 – Come an' Get It (producer, engineer, mixing)

1982 – Saints & Sinners (producer, engineer, mixing)

1984 – Slide It In (producer)


Black Sabbath


1980 – Heaven and Hell (producer, engineer)

1981 – Mob Rules (producer, engineer)


Blue Öyster Cult

1980 – Cultösaurus Erectus (producer, engineer)

1981 – Fire of Unknown Origin (producer, engineer)


Iron Maiden


1981 – Killers (producer, engineer)

1982 – The Number of the Beast (producer, engineer)

1983 – Piece of Mind (producer, engineer, mixing)

1984 – Powerslave (producer, engineer, mixing)

1985 – Live After Death (producer, engineer, mixing)

1986 – Somewhere in Time (producer, engineer, mixing)

1988 – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (producer, engineer, mixing)

1989 – Maiden England (producer, engineer, mixing)

1990 – No Prayer for the Dying (producer, engineer, mixing)

1992 – Fear of the Dark (producer, engineer, mixing)


Other artists


1969 – Jeff Beck – Beck-Ola (engineer)

1970 – Peter Green – The End of the Game (engineer)

1970 – The Groundhogs – Thank Christ for the Bomb (engineer)

1971 – Stackridge – Stackridge (engineer)

1971 – Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker – Hooker 'N' Heat (Mixdown Engineer)

1971 – Skid Row – 34 Hours (engineer)

1971 – Toad – Toad (engineer)

1971 – Faces – Long Player (engineer)

1972 – Silverhead – Silverhead (producer)

1972 – Toad – Tomorrow Blue (engineer)

1972 – Flash – Flash (engineer)

1973 – Gary Moore – Grinding Stone (producer, engineer)

1978 – Wayne County & the Electric Chairs – Storm The Gates Of Heaven (producer)

1978 – Roger Glover – Elements (producer)

1979 – Cozy Powell – Over the Top (producer)

1982 – Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack (producer, engineer)

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