Martin Birch

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Martin Birch is a British former music producer and sound engineer, who became renowned for engineering and producing albums by the British rock bands Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden.

Audio engineer engineer who operates recording, mixing, sound reproduction equipment

An audio engineer helps to produce a recording or a live performance, balancing and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the "...technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer ... the nuts and bolts." It's a creative hobby and profession where musical instruments and technology are used to produce sound for film, radio, television, music, and video games. Audio engineers also set up, sound check and do live sound mixing using a mixing console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, theatre, sports games and corporate events.

Deep Purple English rock band

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. The band is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

Rainbow (rock band) English rock band

Rainbow are a British rock supergroup led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 until 1984, 1993 until 1997, and 2015 until present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.

Contents

Career

Martin Birch was born on 27 December 1948 in Woking, Surrey. He began his career in music as an audio engineer with Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, producing and engineering eleven albums for the latter. In 1980, coming from the "Deep Purple camp", [1] he was called upon by Black Sabbath for Heaven and Hell ; their previous albums had been self-produced and they were happy to let Birch, who had worked with Ronnie James Dio before, produce them. [2] His "bright midrange" on the album is especially noted. [3] In 1981 he began a long tenure working exclusively with Iron Maiden, producing and engineering Killers and retiring from working with other bands for a while. [3]

Woking large town in Surrey, England

Woking is a large town in northwest Surrey, England. It is at the southwestern edge of the Greater London Urban Area and is a part of the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Waterloo station. Woking is 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding its narrowly contiguous Built-up Area which extends from West End to West Byfleet, has a population of 62,796, and the UK Government has recorded its Built Up Area as 5% more populous than its Borough with 105,367 residents in 2011, the highest in the county.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

Jeff Beck English rock guitarist

Geoffrey Arnold Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with the Yardbirds. Beck also formed the Jeff Beck Group and with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, he formed Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Birch has also produced and engineered albums for numerous artists, such as Deep Purple-related projects (Rainbow, Paice Ashton Lord, Whitesnake, Roger Glover, Jon Lord), but also Wayne County & the Electric Chairs. On Fleetwood Mac's album Mystery to Me (1973) he is also credited playing acoustic guitar.

Paice Ashton Lord was a short-lived British rock band featuring Deep Purple band members Ian Paice and Jon Lord with singer Tony Ashton. The band was formed in 1976, released its only album in 1977 and broke up in 1978.

Whitesnake British hard rock band

Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band's commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an' Willing (1980), Come an' Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.

Roger Glover Welsh bassist, keyboardist, songwriter and record producer

Roger David Glover is a British bassist, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the bassist for hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. Glover wrote the guitar riff on "Maybe I'm a Leo". As a member of Deep Purple, Glover was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.

The song "Hard Lovin' Man" from the Deep Purple album Deep Purple in Rock is dedicated to him : "For Martin Birch - catalyst".[2]

<i>Deep Purple in Rock</i> 1970 studio album by Deep Purple

Deep Purple in Rock is the fourth studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in June 1970. It was the first studio album recorded by the Mark II line-up of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

He retired in 1992, after producing Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark album. Birch appears in Iron Maiden's music video "Holy Smoke".

<i>Fear of the Dark</i> (Iron Maiden album) 1992 album by Iron Maiden

Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album released by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Released on 11 May 1992, it was their third studio release to top the UK albums chart and the last to feature Bruce Dickinson as the group's lead vocalist until his return in 1999.

Holy Smoke (song) single

"Holy Smoke" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the first single release to feature guitarist Janick Gers, who joined the band in mid-1990. It was released just weeks before the album, No Prayer for the Dying, and climbed to number three on the UK Singles Chart.

Selected discography

Sources: Martin Birch at artistdirect.com, Discogs

Fleetwood Mac

<i>Then Play On</i> 1969 studio album by Fleetwood Mac

Then Play On is the third studio album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 19 September 1969. It was the first of their original albums to feature Danny Kirwan and the last with Peter Green. Jeremy Spencer did not feature on the album apart from "a couple of piano things". The album, appearing after the group's sudden success in the pop charts, offered a broader stylistic range than the classic blues of the group's first two albums. The album went on to reach #6 in the UK, subsequently becoming the band's fourth Top 20 hit in a row, as well as their third album to reach the Top 10. The title is taken from the opening line of William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night — "If music be the food of love, play on".

<i>Kiln House</i> 1970 studio album by Fleetwood Mac

Kiln House is the fourth studio album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 18 September 1970 by Reprise Records. This is the first of the post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac albums, and their last album to feature Jeremy Spencer. Christine McVie was present at the recording sessions and contributed backing vocals, keyboards and cover art, although she was not a full member of the band until shortly after the album's completion.

<i>Bare Trees</i> 1972 studio album by Fleetwood Mac

Bare Trees is the sixth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1972. This is their last album to feature Danny Kirwan, who was fired during the album's supporting tour. In the wake of the band's success in the mid-1970s, Bare Trees peaked at No. 70 and achieved Gold status in 1976 and certified platinum in 1988 for selling over a million copies.

Deep Purple

Jon Lord

Wishbone Ash

Rainbow

Whitesnake

Black Sabbath

Blue Öyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Other artists

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References

  1. McIver, Joel. Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Music Sales. p. 215. ISBN   9780857120281 . Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  2. Mudrian, Albert (2009). Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Da Capo. pp. 8–9. ISBN   9780786749621 . Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  3. 1 2 Popoff, Martin (2012). "The Albums: Killers". In Neil Daniels. Iron Maiden: The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast. Voyageur. pp. 38–. ISBN   9780760342213 . Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  4. Deming, Mark. "Classic Albums: Deep Purple - Machine Head (2002)". The New York Times . Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  5. 1 2 Begrand, Adrien (14 June 2005). "Iron Maiden's Live After Death". PopMatters . Retrieved 22 February 2013.