Monday, August 10, 2020


Monday's Playlist - Mixing Desk Hero: Martin Birch

With the sad news that legendary producer Martin Birch passed away at the age of 71, we scrambled our usual schedule and  decided to publish this playlist that pays tribute to the man's immense contribution to rock music, as an engineer and as a producer.

Birch is forever associated with the Deep Purple/Black Sabbath/Whitesnake connection, and of course was the producer of Iron Maiden's best albums in the eighties. The man retired at 42 after producing Fear of the Dark... now that's how you end a career!

Another highlight is undoubtedly Wishbone Ash's Argus, unarguably the blueprint for the Maiden records he would eventually produce.

But digging a little deeper, he was the mixing engineer of such fantastic albums as Jeff Beck Group's Beck-Ola, the Faces' First Step and even worked on the legendary Hooker n' Heat, the seminal joint album by John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat!

Other lesser-known contributions are production and mixing duties for Steamhammer, Beggars Opera, Silverhead and Toad.

These are just a few examples of the man's talents, he's produced and engineered dozens of additional records for these and other bands. I've made it a rule to only feature each artist once, so the choices were hard to make. For example, regarding Rainbow: should I feature something from the debut? Or my personal favorite Long Live Rock and Roll?

Once you've listened to this playlist, do yourself a favour and track down the albums (clicking on the links in this article is a good start). And, of course, play them loud.

Enjoy, comment and share!

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