Legendary producer and engineer Martin Birch has passed away aged 71. The news was confirmed by David Coverdale last night via Twitter.
Birch’s involvement in music produced legendary slabs of vinyl which paved a gateway into Metal for millions of Metal music lovers across the globe.
A long time collaborator with Deep Purple (seven studio albums), Iron Maiden (nine studio albums), Birch was also at the helm as Whitesnake moved from ‘Snakebite’ to ‘Slide It In’. He was also there when Ritchie Blackmore move to Rainbow and post-Ozzy Sabbath kicked in.
It is with a very heavy heart I’ve just had verified my very dear friend & producer Martin Birch has passed away…Martin was a huge part of my life…helping me from the first time we met through until Slide It In…Mt thoughts & prayers to his family, friends & fans…💔💔 pic.twitter.com/J4UyDiG9zR
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) August 9, 2020
And how he must have some stories to tell. From working on creating new legends such as Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson, he was also there as the likes of Bill Ward and Tommy Bolin were at their lowest ebbs.
He was behind the Deep Purple board in Osaka and Tokyo, in August of 1972, for the immense ‘Made In Japan’ album.
As a producer/engineer, he was often solely responsible for the sounds of the projects and his preferred style was to work with the same artists over multiple projects. This can be seen in a 1993 article with Best where he said “I certainly think that you can only make the most out of a band if you know it really well, very much in depth.”
Having occasionally worked in difficult circumstances (Purple’s Hotel in Switzerland and Harris’ barn in ‘No Prayer For The Dying’), Birch quit the music business after recording ‘Fear Of The Dark’ with Iron Maiden in 1992.
Wendy Dio says: “My thoughts & prayers go out to his wife Vera & his daughter Haley. He was a genius producer & a very dear friend of Ronnie’s. May he RIP.”
Really sad to hear of the passing of Martin Birch. Brilliant producer. Had the pleasure of working with him on the Black Sabbath albums #HeavenandHell and #MobRules. Condolences to Vera and family. #RIPMartin pic.twitter.com/FPZajWRvpN
— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) August 9, 2020
Martin Birch (27 December 1948 – 9 August 2020)