Martin Birch - the master

John Silver

Electric Buddy
Time to get some Martin Birch praise out of my keyboard.
A personal hero of mine, Birch produced - or engineered - loads of great music.

Mainly prior to hooking up with Iron Maiden he was the go to guy for Deep Purple and many Purple related records. Rainbow , Whitesnake etc etc.
He is credited as the engineer on many of the albums but if you hear someone talk about that time period, the 1970s, the word producer was not really used until a few years later which was a title then essentially given to the engineer. Also if you look at the albums Martin worked on, you’ll see some of these names turn up over and over again, Actually, outside of Maiden, Martin always was close to the Deep Purple family tree.


So to come to the point of the thread .
What is your favorite Martin Birch produced album? With Maiden and outside of Maiden as well .

To participate please elaborate on why it is so.

Here is my go, buddies.

Outside Maiden:
MSGAssault Attack – The only studio album up till Tales Of Rock to feature Graham Bonnet on lead vocals. This was the first album Martin Birch worked on after Iron Maiden’s Number Of The Beast.

Inside Maiden:
Killers.
I could have listed practically any one of the Iron Maiden albums Martin Birch worked on as the number 1.
Killers, Powerslave and Piece Of Mind are right up there for me. Side two of Killers is flawless, a perfect album side, demonstrating that you need someone steering the wheel to know how to get the best out of the band, how to arrange the order of the album, etc. and without Martin Birch being a big part of the process, Maiden would never have reached the heights they did. Some of what they’ve released after working with him has proven that.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Apart from the bands already listed, love the Rainbow and Dio-era Sabbath albums
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
One of the greatest producers of all time!

His work with Maiden up to SSOASS is amazing. Powerslave is probably my favourite production of his. His work on Live after Death shows how great he was mixing live recordings too.

Outside Maiden there are several amazing productions too. I think I would have to go with Rainbow's Rising or Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell.

I would also not want to forget his early work as an engineer on some of my favourite albums of all time: Argus by Wishbone Ash and Machine Head by Deep Purple.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Heaven and Hell is the holy grail outside Maiden, but thumbs up for the Assault Attack reference. Excellent album.
 

MW564

Ancient Mariner
I never notice Birch's production and that is one of the biggest compliments I can give. TNOTB might just edge it.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Outside Maiden:
MSGAssault Attack – The only studio album up till Tales Of Rock to feature Graham Bonnet on lead vocals. This was the first album Martin Birch worked on after Iron Maiden’s Number Of The Beast.
And the only one outside Maiden perhaps, since he started working with them?
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
Best thing about Martin is he pushed the performers to go beyond themselves without ever trying to interfere or change their sound. Reading Bruce’s new book “all about buttons,” and just hit the chapters where Martin really pushes Bruce. Also when he drinks he becomes “Marvin” and that’s also fucking hilarious. Everyone should read Bruce’s new book: “buttons that turn me on,” it’s a very good read.
 

Azas

Alchemist
1. POWERSLAVE
2. PIECE OF MIND
3. SEVENTH SON
4. SOMEWHERE IN TIME
5. THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST

Book of Souls should be produced by Birch. This album in some ways is Powerslave II.
To me 7Son is a transitional album. By listening to it you can hear seeds of No Prayer.
 

stjerky

Nomad
Nobody had mentioned;

Blue Öyster Cult: Cultösaurus Erectus
Blue Öyster Cult: Fire of Unknown Origin

And 3 first Wishbone Ash albums.
 
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John Silver

Electric Buddy
Thanks good sir. Great album that one. Birch deserves credit for the Whitesnake albums. I know they took off commetcially after he stopped working with them, but his albums were the best of their discography.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Alright. Here the five "since-Maiden" albums with Martin Birch credits, in order of release:

01) 1981-07: Blue Öyster Cult, Fire of Unknown Origin (producer, engineer)
02) 1981-07: Black Sabbath Mob Rules (producer, engineer)

03) 1982-10 Michael Schenker Group - Assault Attack (producer, engineer)
04) 1
982-11: Whitesnake Saints & Sinners (producer, engineer, mixing)
05) 1984-01: Whitesnake Slide It In (producer)


This one probably does not count, but I'll still mention it because it was on the Birch wiki page:
1986-03: Rainbow Finyl Vinyl (producer) - collection*
EDIT: this indeed does not count, he's only mentioned as producer on two 1978 live recordings, check here: https://www.discogs.com/Rainbow-Finyl-Vinyl/release/3727107. I assume that means he recorded/had work on these songs back in 1978, and that he had nothing to do with the album Finyl Vinyl.
 
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