Author Topic: Martin Birch passed away  (Read 746 times)

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Offline MirrorMask

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Martin Birch passed away
« on: August 10, 2020, 02:42:24 AM »
As if 2020 wasn't sucky enough, we lost today Martin Birch.

It was already obvious that the music that he helped to make immortal would have long outlasted him, but it's sad to know that a fundamental piece of heavy metal history is no longer with us.

Spin one of the albums he produced in his honor - the choice is definitively not scarce!!!
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Online Zydar

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2020, 02:45:07 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2020, 02:58:56 AM »
I usually do not pay too much attention to the producers, to be honest. But when a guy produces Machine Head, Rising, Heaven and hell and Powerslave, he must be a genius. Rest in peace, Martin.

Offline wolfking

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2020, 05:28:51 AM »
Legendary producer.  RIP.

Offline Podaar

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 06:31:29 AM »
I usually do not pay too much attention to the producers, to be honest. But when a guy produces Machine Head, Rising, Heaven and hell and Powerslave, he must be a genius. Rest in peace, Martin.

My list would include Fire of Unknown Origin as well.

Damn, got so good music to listen to in his honor.

Edit: I see he also produced MSG Assault Attack. I'll need to listen to that as well.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2020, 08:51:30 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)   

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2020, 08:56:19 AM »
And confirmed by Bruce in his autobiography as well! he made him go over and over and over and over on those initial lines of the song, telling him that Dio had the same problem for the beginning of Heaven and Hell.
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2020, 08:57:53 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2020, 09:01:54 AM »
I suspect he produced one or two albums on all of our top ten lists. He was also the sort of guy to retire at 45 and never look back.  :tup
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Offline HOF

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2020, 09:03:18 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol

Was Martin Birch the inspiration for the SNL Bruce Dickinson sketch? He produced Blue Oyster Cult, right?

Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 09:23:45 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.
as were all the Purple albums he helmed.
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Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 10:07:21 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol

Was Martin Birch the inspiration for the SNL Bruce Dickinson sketch? He produced Blue Oyster Cult, right?
Hmm interesting I always thought that that was based on an actual producer named Bruce Dickinson and not IMs Bruce for some reason. I found this quote though from Will Ferrell: "Ferrell himself based the character on Iron Maiden's frontman of the same name". So apparently not a reference to Birch but Bruce himself.
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Offline HOF

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2020, 10:25:37 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol

Was Martin Birch the inspiration for the SNL Bruce Dickinson sketch? He produced Blue Oyster Cult, right?
Hmm interesting I always thought that that was based on an actual producer named Bruce Dickinson and not IMs Bruce for some reason. I found this quote though from Will Ferrell: "Ferrell himself based the character on Iron Maiden's frontman of the same name". So apparently not a reference to Birch but Bruce himself.

Looks like Birch didn’t produce Don’t Fear The Reaper, so it’s probably not a direct reference. But it is ironic since Dickinson had a producer like that in his ear as well.

Online TAC

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2020, 10:30:19 AM »
Copied from Wiki:


Fleetwood Mac
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
1969 – Concerto for Group and Orchestra (engineer)
1970 – Deep Purple in Rock (engineer)
1971 – Fireball (engineer)
1972 – Machine Head (engineer)
1972 – Made in Japan (engineer)
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)
1976 – Made in Europe (co-producer, engineer, mixing)- recorded live in April 1975
1977 – Last Concert in Japan (co-producer, engineer) – recorded live in December 1975

Jon Lord
1971 – Jon Lord – Gemini Suite (engineer)
1976 – Jon Lord – Sarabande (producer, engineer, remixing)
1974 – Tony Ashton & Jon Lord – First of the Big Bands (engineer)
1977 – Paice Ashton Lord – Malice in Wonderland (engineer)

Wishbone Ash
1970 – Wishbone Ash (engineer)
1971 – Pilgrimage (engineer)
1972 – Argus (engineer)

Rainbow
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

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

Blue Φyster Cult
1980 – Cultφsaurus Erectus (producer, engineer)
1981 – Fire of Unknown Origin (producer, engineer)

Iron Maiden
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)[12]
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
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)
1971 – Rock Workshop – The Very Last Time (engineer)
1971 – Jodo – Guts LP (engineer)
1972 – Silverhead – Silverhead (producer)
1972 – Toad – Tomorrow Blue (engineer)
1972 – Flash – Flash (engineer)
1972 – Flash – In the Can (engineer)
1973 – Gary Moore – Grinding Stone (producer, engineer)
1978 – The Electric Chairs – The Electric Chairs (producer)
1978 – Wayne County & the Electric Chairs – Storm The Gates Of Heaven (producer)
1978 – Wayne County & the Electric Chairs – Blatantly Offensive E.P. (producer)
1978 – Roger Glover – Elements (producer)
1979 – Cozy Powell – Over the Top (producer)
1982 – Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack (producer, engineer)
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline pg1067

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2020, 10:38:07 AM »
I usually do not pay too much attention to the producers, to be honest. But when a guy produces Machine Head, Rising, Heaven and hell and Powerslave, he must be a genius. Rest in peace, Martin.

Pretty much.  But there are a few producers who stand out:  George Martin, Terry Brown, Mutt Lange.  And Martin Birch is absolutely on that list.  And those four albums mentioned just scratch the surface.
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2020, 10:41:07 AM »
Noob question but why did he just decide to stop working after so many great albums (with so many yet to come)?
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Offline Evermind

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2020, 10:48:04 AM »
snip

Sarabande, Rising, Heaven and Hell (I think those three were in my Top 10? Two of them definitely were), Argus, Assault Attack, The Number of the Beast, Concerto for Group and Orchestra... holy shit. RIP.
This first band is Soen very cool swingy jazz fusion kinda stuff.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2020, 10:58:52 AM »
Noob question but why did he just decide to stop working after so many great albums (with so many yet to come)?
I kind of assumed it was simply because he could. If he was earning points off of all of those albums, and he probably was, then he had a very nice revenue stream in perpetuity. Maiden, Purple, and Whitesnake would have afforded him a nice life, I imagine.
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Online Zydar

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2020, 11:18:40 AM »
According to Wikipedia he retired after producing 'Fear Of The Dark' in 1992.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2020, 11:23:33 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol

Was Martin Birch the inspiration for the SNL Bruce Dickinson sketch? He produced Blue Oyster Cult, right?
Hmm interesting I always thought that that was based on an actual producer named Bruce Dickinson and not IMs Bruce for some reason. I found this quote though from Will Ferrell: "Ferrell himself based the character on Iron Maiden's frontman of the same name". So apparently not a reference to Birch but Bruce himself.

You're 100% right, in that Ferrell did say that, but I think that may be Ferrell taking the piss.  There IS a real Bruce Dickinson, who was an Executive Producer/A&R guy for Columbia, MCA, and later Sony/Legacy.  Kind of a "John Kalodner/John Kalodner" guy.   He started the "Biograph" box set for Dylan, and managed some reissues for Billy Joel and Miles Davis.  Also according to Ferrell, he was listed on the CD that Ferrell used as a source for the song (likely "Workshop of the Telescopes", given the time frame).   The emphasized "THE" may have been a reference to Bruce from Maiden, but the character in the skit bears no resemblance in any way (other than the name) to the real guy.

Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2020, 11:25:35 AM »
According to Wikipedia he retired after producing 'Fear Of The Dark' in 1992.
Correct. But even then, you could say that he was in semi-retirement by 1984, because at that point, he started working exclusively with Maiden. I had often wondered why he retired at such a young age, and was hoping that someone in this thread would have produced the answer, but doesn't look like it. I did a little digging, and the best thing I could find was from a book about Maiden. From what I can tell, it looks like the book is talking about the band searching for a producer for BNW. I can't easily copy and paste the text here, but here's the link so you all can see for yourself what Bruce and Jannick said:
https://books.google.com.br/books?id=LSGtDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT119&lpg=PT119&dq=Why+did+producer+%22Martin+Birch%22+retire+at+such+a+young+age?&source=bl&ots=_uUUdYFHq_&sig=ACfU3U0GaWO-uQJpyoyZ4V-IdBHypsFUqw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjXlriqkJHrAhXtGLkGHQaXBcQ4ChDoATARegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=Why%20did%20producer%20%22Martin%20Birch%22%20retire%20at%20such%20a%20young%20age%3F&f=false
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2020, 11:40:09 AM »
My favorite albums he produced:

1. Rising
2. The Number Of The Beast
3. Heaven And Hell
4. Slide It In (UK Version)
5. Killers

If I include albums he engineered as well, then Fireball and Burn go on there somewhere.   Maybe just Burn, in for Killers.

Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: Martin Birch passed away
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2020, 11:59:56 AM »
Yeah I just read that in the Maiden thread.

RIP Mr Birch  :'(  Thanks for all the great albums you've been involved in through the years. Those run of Maiden albums from 1981-1992 are just incredible, and he had a big part of it.

Especially early on; we literally would not have what I consider the best scream in heavy metal (the "yeahhhhhhhhhH!" at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast) if it wasn't for Martin Birch telling Bruce over and over, "you can do better!".   (This is all in one of the docs on "The Early Years".)

Reminds me of that hilariously corny scene in the Def Leppard movie where dude keeps telling Joe "you can go higher! just one more time!" and then he finally hits the high notes in the studio after getting fed up. lol

Was Martin Birch the inspiration for the SNL Bruce Dickinson sketch? He produced Blue Oyster Cult, right?
Hmm interesting I always thought that that was based on an actual producer named Bruce Dickinson and not IMs Bruce for some reason. I found this quote though from Will Ferrell: "Ferrell himself based the character on Iron Maiden's frontman of the same name". So apparently not a reference to Birch but Bruce himself.

You're 100% right, in that Ferrell did say that, but I think that may be Ferrell taking the piss.  There IS a real Bruce Dickinson, who was an Executive Producer/A&R guy for Columbia, MCA, and later Sony/Legacy.  Kind of a "John Kalodner/John Kalodner" guy.   He started the "Biograph" box set for Dylan, and managed some reissues for Billy Joel and Miles Davis.  Also according to Ferrell, he was listed on the CD that Ferrell used as a source for the song (likely "Workshop of the Telescopes", given the time frame).   The emphasized "THE" may have been a reference to Bruce from Maiden, but the character in the skit bears no resemblance in any way (other than the name) to the real guy.
Wow yea that's even more interesting.  :) Maybe that's what i've heard before but didn't remember it.
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