By Steve Newton
If you’re fan of hard rock and metal you’ve no doubt already heard that Martin Birch, the preeminent producer of loud rock, passed away recently at the age of 71.
I’ve interviewed my fair share of hard-rock producers, including the formerly Vancouver-based triumvirate of Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Mike Fraser, but none of them has twiddled the knobs for as many of my fave bands as Birch.
Here’s five of his finest moments as a producer/engineer, as far as I can tell. Check out the inspired guitar solos on “Wasted Years” and “Burnin’ For You”, and the fierce drumming on “Burn” and “A Light in the Dark”. Now imagine if you were the guy responsible for capturing that magic on tape.
Thank you for your work “Black Night”.
Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years”, 1986:
Deep Purple’s “Burn”, 1974:
Rainbow’s “A Light in the Dark”, 1976:
Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights”, 1980:
Blue Öyster Cult’s “Burnin’ For You”, 1981: