Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Martin Birch

Has anyone watched the Metal Evolution episodes?

It’s a great doco series on how Metal came to be. The focus is on artists and how these artists evolved the sound from its blues rock, classical, folk and jazz influences into the many different genres the record labels reps created.

Since artists write the music, most of the credit for Metals evolution goes to them.


The producers behind the artists played a part. It’s no coincidence that the most influential albums always had a producers who also produced another act’s influential album. And the producers didn’t get any love.

There was a stage in my life where I purchased albums because of the producer.

If I saw Tom Werman and Keith Olsen listed as the producer, it was a “no questions asked purchase”. Another producer who was in that category was Martin Birch. But when I had the means to buy as much new recorded product as possible in the 90’s, Martin Birch didn’t produce anything post 1992, because at the age of 42, he retired after “Fear Of The Dark” from Iron Maiden.

But his 70’s and 80’s output is an impressive list and it kept me busying purchasing it.

The whole Iron Maiden collection from “Killers” in 1981 to “Fear Of The Dark” in 1992 is Martin Birch.

The two Ronnie James Dio albums from Black Sabbath, “Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules” are Martin Birch.

The Whitesnake albums from “Trouble” in 1978 to “Slide It In” in 1984 are all Martin Birch.

The Rainbow releases with Ronnie James Dio from 1975 to 1978 are also Martin Birch.

Then there is his work with Deep Purple as engineer first and then co-producer, between 1969 and 1975 and some important albums like “In Rock”, “Fireball”, “Machine Head”, “Who Do You Think We Are?”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer”.

“Assault Attack” from Michael Schenker Group is also produced by Martin Birch.

And going back even further, he was the engineer on Jeff Beck’s highly influential and instrumental “Beck-Ola” album, plus the early version of Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green as guitarist and even a few solo albums from Peter Green, who was very influential to the guitar players of the time than the press have made him out to be. Judas Priest covered a song and Gary Moore did a whole album of his songs in the 90’s called “Blues For Greeny”.

Anyway I started yesterday, in paying tribute to the production work of Martin Birch. I started off with the two Black Sabbath albums, then moved to Rainbow and now I’m with Maiden, before I move to Deep Purple and the rest of the albums.



6 thoughts on “Martin Birch

  1. I don’t really watch TV, but Martin “Black Knight” Birch was the first producer I ever heard of. I used to memorize ALL his nicknames from the Maiden albums. RIP.

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