Martin Birch

Martin Birch (27 December 1948 – 6 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.

Biography

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.

Birch also produced and engineered albums for numerous artists. These included Deep Purple-related projects (Rainbow, Paice Ashton Lord, Whitesnake, Roger Glover, and Jon Lord), but also encompassed Wayne County & the Electric Chairs. On Fleetwood Mac's album Mystery to Me (1973) he is also credited playing acoustic guitar. The song "Hard Lovin' Man" from the Deep Purple album Deep Purple in Rock is dedicated to him: "For Martin Birch – catalyst".

Birch retired in 1992, after producing Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark album. It was the last of the ten records he produced with the group. He appeared in Iron Maiden's music video "Holy Smoke" two years before his retirement.

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 and Rod Smallwood reflecting on his personality and his time working with the band.

Selected discography

Source: AllMusic unless otherwise stated.

Fleetwood Mac

Deep Purple

Jon Lord

Bernie Marsden

Wishbone Ash

Rainbow

Whitesnake

Black Sabbath

Blue Öyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Other artists

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Martin Birch, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.