Legendary Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath producer Martin Birch has died aged 71

Birch was known for his lengthy production stints with the likes of Iron Maiden.

Martin Birch, who produced nine Iron Maiden albums and records from the likes of Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, has died at the age of 71.

The news was confirmed by Whitesnake singer David Coverdale, who tweeted: “It is with a very heavy heart I’ve just had verified my very dear friend and producer Martin Birch has passed away.

“Martin was a huge part of my life … helping me from the first time we met through untilΒ Slide It In. .. My thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans.”

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Born in 1948, Birch was known for his lengthy production stints with a number of legnedary bands, having produced the first six Whitesnake albums.

The legendary producer also masterminded every Iron Maiden album from 1981’s ‘Killers’ to 1992’s ‘Fear of the Dark’ – which marked his final work before retriement.

Elsewhere, he produced Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ – which saw Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne on vocals – and notable efforts from the likes of Rainbow and Deep Purple.

Paying tribute, Sabbath’s Geezer Butler wrote on Twitter: “Really sad to hear of the passing of Martin Birch. Brilliant producer. Had the pleasure of working with him on the Black Sabbath albums #HeavenandHell and #MobRules. Condolences to Vera and family. #RIPMartin”

Birch also worked with Fleetwood Mac, engineering and producing five early albums from 1969’s ‘Then Play On’ to 1973’s ‘Mystery To Me’.

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Describing his skills, Birch previously said: “I don’t consider myself a super-technician, what I do is to me pretty simple, but the fact that I’m used to the bands I have worked with helps me to know instantly what they want, or even what they can achieve, even if they don’t realize it clearly themselves.

“Or maybe bands trust me over long periods of time just because they find me a particularly likable character!”

A cause of death is yet to be announced.

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