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K2-Tales of triumph and tragedy (1988)

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Don Airey has contributed to some of the most important rock albums of all time, including Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’ and ‘Diary Of A Madman’, ‘Down To Earth’ by Rainbow, Whitesnake’s ‘1987’ – the latter one of the genre’s biggest sellers of all time. It’s probably quicker to cite rare examples of household ... Read more in Amazon's Don Airey Store

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for 4 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
Mainly Piano MD 2 Dec. 2012
By Michael Debbage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to keyboard players in the world of rock music, the first names that come to mind are the likes of Keith Emerson, Ken Hensley and Jon Lord to name a few. So those of you who are not rock connoisseurs you are probably wondering who Don Airey is. A member of Deep Purple since 2002, Airey's resume prior to that is impressive and copious. As a result, limited time resources have prevented Airey from being prolific as a solo artist. Nevertheless, back in 1988 Airey found time to release his ambitious concept album K2 dedicated to the tragic and triumphant mountain expedition of 1986 that claimed the lives of 12 of the world's best climbers.

Classically trained and an avid supporter of the Hammond Organ, Airey's resume reads like who's who of rock and roll. Active either as a member or a significant contributor, Don's past associates have included Cozy Powell's Hammer, Colosseum II, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Brian May and Deep Purple just to name a few. This list is far from exhaustive, which may explain Airey's ability to release only two solo albums in the last two decades.

That said, some of his past associates where kind enough to return the favor and appear on K2, specifically drummer Cozy Powell throughout the album as well as guitar extraordinaire Gary Moore on three of the tracks. Powell's most significant performance can be found on the progressive and out right eight-minute rocker "Death Zone/Whiteout". The latter part of the song features Powell and Airey just going at it making for a very aggressive, pensive and moody epic. Meanwhile, Gary Moore's seductive guitar work on "Song For Al (Instrumental)" creates for some magical moments with Airey's flighty keyboard performance, which is likely one the albums pivotal instrumental moments.

Those of you craving more of Airey's keyboard work, check out "Summit Push" and the very short jazzy interlude "Blues For J.T.", that will only leave you craving for more. The aforementioned leads right into the melodic magic of the mid-tempo ballad "Julie (if you leave me)" that features the vocal rendition of Colin Blunstone. Once again Airey's swirling keyboard work is brilliant though never distracting from the melody and song structure.

Originally released back in 1988, the album was re-mastered and repackaged in 2004 and even includes a bonus track. While the production elements are a little dated, K2 Tales of Triumph & Tragedy is a very ambitious concept that has no specific genre focus, intermingling vocal and instrumental renditions and even the occasional narrative reading. But if you are patient enough, the payoff is worth it. And better yet if you enjoyed this you will no doubt love Airey's 2008 project A Light In The Sky. For those of you new to Don Airey, be adventurous and come and explore the world of Don Airey.
I so much wanted to like this album... 12 July 2008
By Federico Abbasciano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
...I had read rave reviews and love Airey's work with Ozzy and Purple. Turns out the album is a collection of 80's sinth-pop, combined with a generic vocal performance. I hate myself for saying this, but I think it's little better than the Rocky IV soundtrack. Off the whole album, I'd probably just save the 13th track, Song for Al (reprise), a solid 80's rock tune. I don't find anything particularly pleasing in the rest of the album, but my least-disliked tracks are Balti Lament, Can't Make up Your Mind and Death Zone - Whiteout. Apparently this stuff is not my cup of tea. I'm happy to hear someone (the other reviewer and his family) appreciates it, I just wish I would too, since Airey is a classic keyboardist and Cozy Powell was a fantastic drummer. But this doesn't do the trick for me.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
K-2 Classic 12 Jun. 2004
By Don Mullen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great bluesy mix of rock. Cant miss line up of Airey,Blunstone,Powell and G.Moore a Mullen family favorite.
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