Metal In Mourning / Legendary producer Martin Birch dies at 71

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.

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.”

Martin Birch (27 December 1948 – 9 August 2020)

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