Legendary British producer Martin Birch, who is best known for engineering and producing albums by Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and others died on August 9th at the age of 71. Members of Iron Maiden have shared their thoughts on Birch’s passing.

Steve Harris: “He was just absolutely brilliant. He wasn’t just a producer, he was a hands-on engineer too, so he knew how to get a great sound. He was also fantastic at motivating people; he just had a knack of getting the best out of you. He was also a really nice man, great fun with a terrific sense of humour and that made him easy to work with. We all got along with him really well and the whole band is very saddened by today’s news.”

Bruce Dickinson: “To me, Martin was a mentor who completely transformed my singing: he was a psychotherapist and in his own words a juggler who could mirror exactly what a band was. That was his special talent as a producer. He was not a puppeteer, he did not manipulate the sound of the band, he just reflected it in the best possible way. Apart from all of that he was a wonderful, warm & funny human being. Martin & I shared a passion for martial arts – he for karate and me for fencing which gave us another bond too. I’m so very sad to hear this news, it’s incredible that he has passed away at such a young age for a man who was so full of life.”

Iron Maiden manager, Rod Smallwood: “He was a fantastic guy who always shared a mutual respect with the band. He never, ever, let us down in the studio. He was a true gentleman and he will be hugely missed by everyone in the Maiden Family.”

Iron Maiden albums produced by Martin Birch:

1981 – Killers

1982 – The Number of the Beast

1983 – Piece of Mind

1984 – Powerslave

1985 – Live After Death

1986 – Somewhere in Time

1988 – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

1990 – No Prayer for the Dying

1992 – Fear of the Dark

1994 – Maiden England ’88

16 Responses

  1. Wow! That is lousy. What an impressive body of work…all the best albums, too. I think he can be seen in the videos Holy Smoke & Flight of Icarus.

    1. From Wikipedia:

      Selected discography:

      Fleetwood Mac[edit]
      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[edit]

      1969 – Concerto for Group and Orchestra (engineer)[13]
      1970 – Deep Purple in Rock (engineer)
      1971 – Fireball (engineer)
      1972 – Machine Head (engineer)[14]
      1972 – Made in Japan (engineer)[15]
      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[edit]

      1971 – Jon Lord – Gemini Suite (engineer)
      1976 – Jon Lord – Sarabande (producer, engineer, remixing)
      Bernie Marsden[edit]
      1979 – Bernie Marsden – And About Time Too (producer, engineer)
      Wishbone Ash[edit]
      1970 – Wishbone Ash (engineer)
      1971 – Pilgrimage (engineer)
      1972 – Argus (engineer)


      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


      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[edit]

      1980 – Heaven and Hell (producer, engineer)
      1981 – Mob Rules (producer, engineer)

      Blue Öyster Cult[edit]

      1980 – Cultösaurus Erectus (producer, engineer)
      1981 – Fire of Unknown Origin (producer, engineer)

      Iron Maiden[edit]

      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)[15]
      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[edit]

      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) – recorded in 1970
      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)[16]
      1978 – Roger Glover – Elements (producer)
      1979 – Cozy Powell – Over the Top (producer)
      1982 – Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack (producer, engineer)

    2. Thanks Dana. I was being a bit of a smart ass because elliot’s comment was basically telling us what the article just said. So I amused myself by asking for the source of his comment. Seems unfunny now (if it ever was).

    3. Oh…Funny, I was thinking, wasn’t it stated un the article? But just in case it did not mention one of the bands, I wanted get your question answered-LOL!

  2. Btw I know you see these before they go live so to speak and since this is kinda just a message for you dont feel obligated to post it. (Especially this one)
    Is there a way to just message you? You and I exchanged a long list of back and forth messages in 2001. An article on this site was about a live Sabbath record release and it stated that a few songs on it were not on any other record. But 1 song was on Ozzy’s Speak of the Devil album so I posted that. You replied and we emailed back and forth very amicably to the point we were discussing my hair style in the 80s. Anyway, I figured I’d take you down memory lane. Thanks. You probably dont remember it.

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