Martin Birch, the producer who had a hand in many of hard rock and heavy metal's albums of distinction in the '70s, '80s and '90s, has died at the age of 71. While a cause of death was not given, it has been confirmed that he passed away Sunday (Aug. 9).

His resume is quite impressive, haven gotten his start as an engineer for Jeff Beck, the early era of Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple. From there, he went on to produce or co-produce albums for Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Blue Oyster Cult and he was behind the boards for 10 Iron Maiden recordings between 1981 and 1992. His time with Maiden spanned from the Killers album through Fear of the Dark.

Having worked with Rainbow (seen with Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore in the photo above) over five records in the '70s and '80s, he would follow Dio to Black Sabbath, where he produced the Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules records. He also had a string of records with Whitesnake in the late '70s and early '80s, during one of his more prolific periods.

Other acts of note that Birch worked with included Gary Moore, Skid Row, Michael Schenker Group, Cozy Powell, Jon Lord, Peter Green, Roger Glover and more. Birch retired from producing in 1992 following his final record with Iron Maiden.

After news of Birch's death began to circulate, the tributes started rolling in, with Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler calling him "brilliant," while Whitesnake's David Coverdale called him a "huge part of my life. See tributes to Birch from Wendy Dio, Candace Night, David Ellefson, Charlie Benante and more below.

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