Martin Birch death: Tributes paid to ‘brilliant’ Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath producer

Producer Martin Birch working on 'Rainbow Rising' for Rainbow in LA, April 1976: Redferns/Getty
Producer Martin Birch working on 'Rainbow Rising' for Rainbow in LA, April 1976: Redferns/Getty

Tributes have poured in following the death of revered British music producer Martin Birch.

Birch was known for his work with bands including Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. He died on Sunday, 9 August at the age of 71.

Whitesnake singer David Coverdale first confirmed the news, writing on Twitter: “It is with a very heavy heart I’ve just had verified my very dear friend and 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. .. My thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans.”

Birch produced the first six Whitesnake albums. He also enjoyed lengthy collaborations with other groups, including an 11-year stint producing for Iron Maiden, which yielded some of their most popular records, including Number of the Beast and Somewhere in Time.

He retired in 1992 after producing Fear of the Dark, his tenth Iron Maiden record.

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler described Birch as a “brilliant producer”.

“Had the please of working with him on the Black Sabbath albums Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules,” he wrote. “Condolences to Vera and family.”

Birch was a versatile producer, and worked as an engineer on five early Fleetwood Mac albums, including 1973’s Mystery To Me.

The producer also worked with bands such as Blue Oyster Cult and Rainbow.

No cause of death has been announced.

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