The legendary producer and sound engineer Martin Birch has died at the age of 71.
Birch began working as a sound engineer on albums by Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple in the late 60s – he would eventually produce, engineer or mix every Purple album from Concerto for Group and Orchestra through Come Taste the Band, as well as several of their live albums, and continued his association with the band’s members by working with Jon Lord, Whitesnake and Rainbow. His work with Deep Purple made him sought after, and Ronnie James Dio recommended him to Black Sabbath because of his previous relationship on the first four Rainbow albums. Following two albums with Sabbath (Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules) and two by Blue Öyster Cult (Cultosaurus Erectus and Fire of Unknown Origin), he began a relationship with Iron Maiden that lasted from 1981 until 1992, eventually only working exclusively with them from Powerslave onwards, until he retired after Fear of the Dark. Birch also worked with Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden, Wishbone Ash, Canned Heat and the Michael Schenker Group.