Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978
ROAD TRIPS 1.4
From Egypt With Love
The two-CD Road Trips set,
plus a third Bonus Disc,
is drawn from the two
shows of the series that are in the vault,
October 21 and 22, 1978.
More Egypt '78
Egypt In The Archives
The Egypt Shows
Enjoy a short video montage from the
Egypt '78 DVD.
Watch a Video of Bertha in Egypt,
Listen in on an interview
with Richard Loren on how Egypt
At Long Last...
2 Disc Set + 1 DVD
Good things come to those who wait! First, it took 30 years to produce this ultra-cool 2CD/DVD set from the Dead’s legendary September 1978 run at the Sound & Light Theater, outside Cairo, nestled in the dunes just a short mummy-walk from the Great Pyramid and the mysterious Sphinx. Then, Dead Heads had to endure the long, restless weeks between the announcement of the release and when they could actually order it. Well, ring them bells, because the wait is over! Dead.net is NOW accepting orders for this beautiful and historic package, Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978, which includes two exceptional music CDs and a DVD with over 95 minutes of concert footage from the Egypt shows (plus an impressionistic “Vacation Tapes” mini-documentary that shows the band and Dead family at play).
Much has been written about this storied adventure: About the band’s long-standing desire to play in “places of power,” as Phil put it years ago… The incredible logistical gymnastics necessary to get permission for this strangest of American rock bands to bring their peculiar alchemy to the cradle of the ancient world… The huge, scattered caravan of crazies that descended on Cairo from the U.S. and Europe, drawn to the desert by some irresistible force… The sheer magnitude of shipping in tons of sound equipment, setting up in 110-degree heat, maxing out the local power grid, trying to turn the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid into an echo chamber (alas, Osiris would have none of that!)… The wondrous interplay at each of the three concerts between Nubian drummers and singers and the Grateful Dead… The miraculous final show, during a total lunar eclipse… The synchronicity of that last show and the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel… Magical horse and camel rides under the desert moon…Trips up and down the Nile… High adventure at every turn!
The three Egypt concerts—September 14, 15, 16, 1978—were captured on a 24-track tape recorder with an eye towards putting out a live album to help defray the (considerable) cost of the expedition. When the Dead got home, however, they discovered that the tapes of all of the first night and part of the second were not useable because of technical problems. Then the band got wrapped up in finishing their Shakedown Street album (begun before the Egypt venture), and soon the notion of putting out the Egypt album lost its momentum. But just as Howard Carter and all those other explorers in the ’20s and ’30s couldn’t stay away from the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the Dead weren’t about to let those Egypt multitracks stay buried by the sands of time. Next thing you know there’s a phone call to ace GD mixer Jeffrey Norman and he and vaultkeeper David Lemieux discover that despite the problems with the first night’s tapes, there’s still lots of great material available from nights two and three, including: a dynamite “Shakedown Street” (just the second live version ever), “Truckin’,” an exquisite “Stella Blue,” “Eyes of the World,” fresh takes on then-new songs such as “Stagger Lee” and “I Need A Miracle,” and the hypnotic Egyptian tune called “Ollin Arageed” that features Hamza El Din and other percussionists, who are then joined by the Dead for a jam into “Fire on the Mountain.” Wow!
And the concert video, though rough around the edges in places, is quite a revelation as well. Not only does the DVD include many of the best tunes on the CDs—you’ll dig seeing Jerry do some pretty energetic thrashing here and there—it contains two songs not on disc—“Bertha” and “Good Lovin’.” The concert material has been mixed in both stereo and surround sound, with two listening options: DTS 5.1 and PCM Stereo. The beautifully designed booklet (with cover inspired by the late, great Alton Kelley’s Egypt 1978 tour poster) contains a revealing essay by longtime Ice Nine Publishing chief (and Egypt trip co-organizer) Alan Trist, and many rare photos. All that’s missing is sand, the smell of camels and some “hubbly-bubbly”!
So don’t delay! Order Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978 today by going Here.
1. “Jack Straw”
2. “Row Jimmy”
3. “New, New Minglewood Blues”
5. “Looks Like Rain”
6. “Stagger Lee”
7. “I Need A Miracle”
8. “It’s All Over Now”
1. “Ollin Arageed”
2. “Fire On The Mountain”
3. “Iko Iko”
4. “Shakedown Street”
8. “Stella Blue”
9. “Around And Around”
2. “Good Lovin’”
3. “Row Jimmy”
4. “New, Minglewood Blues”
6. “Looks Like Rain”
8. “Ollin Arageed”
9. “Fire On The Mountain”
10. “Iko Iko”
11. “I Need A Miracle”
12. “It’s All Over Now”
Featurette: “The Vacation Tapes”
Road Trips Vol. 1, No. 4 features Winterland ’78 “From Egypt With Love” shows!
It must be the Curse of the Pharaoh’s Tomb or something, because once we’d put together Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt ’78, we couldn’t get Egypt out of our system. Suddenly it seemed only natural that the next Road Trips should be culled from the great five-night “From Egypt With Love” run the Dead played at Winterland a month after they returned from Cairo. Each night the band treated the hometown fans to an extensive slide show of their travels, and at two of the concerts, Hamza El Din joined the Dead for versions of “Ollin Arageed” that helped summon even more of the flavor of Egypt. Harmonica ace Lee Oskar (of War) showed up a couple of nights, and at the final show, John Cipollina added his distinctive guitar to the back half of the second set. The two-CD Road Trips set is drawn from the final two shows of the series, October 11 and 22, 1978. Get complete order information Here.
I'll pass this along and see if we can get it straightened out.
I have not received a shipping notice on my Australian order yet. I visited the friends for whom I bought it last weekend and it had certainly not arrived. It is frustrating, especially if the bonus disc is no longer available. That one was Order Number: 0065868, Order Date And Time: 08/20/2008. Hopefully my own copy will be waiting for me when I get back home, it shipped on 10/15 on an order placed on 8/20. The other copy I ordered on 8/20, for a USA recipient, shipped on 9/23. It really is bizzarre how three orders placed the same day get such wildly varied treatment. I suspect I must be dealing with Grateful Dead, not Rhino.
sorry for the trouble.
Okay, I am started to get VERY irritated, I PRE-ORDERED this - as of today...AT LEAST two months later, I have not even received an e-mail stating it has even SHIPPED YET!!!! I have contacted customer service and have received NO response. At least contact me to let me know you are working on it!! If this is how this is going to work I can not imagine ordering ANYTHING in the future!
I really like this release but also am TERRIBLY disappointed that the Ollin Arageed on the second disc is so short, why not provide a full length version, or at least more than the 6 mins provided? Obviously it would've been cooler to provide a full length concert but the two discs + DVD are smokin'. cheers.
Yeah - my Egypt/RTv1n4 has Frankfurt postage marks on it. No wonder these things take a while.
Last year a birthday card sent to my dad went from a place fourty minutes drive away from my parents' place (i.e. on the outskirts of Sydney, AUS) to Japan, then back to Sydney and to my parents' place.
It be quicker if they just had a guy with a sack on a donkey delivering mail.
my parcel first went to New Zealand from USA then to Italy, now I know what road trip stands for...anyway it was bleeding Italian Customs that took it for ten days...
haven't listened to it, yet!
you don't discuss the Dead you can only love them!
"My only other feedback re: this release is that I don't understand why tracks are placed out of order. I think it's one thing to skip songs (like has been done on previous Dick's Picks releases) but it seems a bit strange to re-arrange tracks. If you're going to have seven out of ten songs from the first set on the one cd, along with a few tracks from the previous night, why not put the tracks in order, the missing songs notwithstanding, rather than putting track 5 in second position, track 2 in fourth position, etc. It just seems a bit arbitrary."
i.e. the way it's done on RTv1n4. Only a few first set songs but they appear in order. I guess it's no big deal when one disc consists of excerpts from multiple shows (e.g. the bonus discs or the first two Road Trips releases) but it doesn't really make sense (to me anyway) to do it when one disc is completely or mainly from one show.
PS. I referred to RTv1n2, when I of course meant RTv1n4.
I haven't heard any of RTv1n2 yet but I've heard all of the Egypt release. It's definitely a very specific mood and atmosphere and unlike any other Dead performances I have heard.
Generally, the sound is beautiful. Really crisp and clear. It almost contradicts the lose, sometimes sloppy state of the music.
* I really liked the Row Jimmy. The calypso thing is a lot of fun.
* Looks Like Rain hasn't really done it for me yet, for all the hype. I'm starting to think that my favourite version is on the Winterland 73 boxset.
* Deal is crazy, almost over the top. It's a really fun performance though and, in my opinion, about as far away from the typical end-of-set Deal performance one can find.
* Ollin Arageed> Fire> Iko is, I guess, the centrepiece of the whole release. It's also very cruisey. It, as well as a lot of the release (esp. the bonus disc Eyes) gives me the impression that the Dead weren't so much trying to reach some astral point, rather that they were already there and enjoying themselves so much that they almost forgot about the songs and just let their minds drift (rather than explore). Anyway, this performance is very nice and quite a party; focused and precise it's not.
* Shakedown> Drumz> Truckin> Stella Blue> Around is again very chilled. The chill factor works for Stella Blue but I think Truckin suffers, most noticeably when they miss the second beat re-entry after Jerry's run up the fretboard. It does pick up and become a pretty hot version by the end. I also really like the Shakedown - it's nothing like the song became but I can't imagine a version like this being played in a US show.
BONUS DISC (which appears to have sold out already)
* Bertha> Good Lovin - pretty average to my ears. The Good Lovin has some weird timing thing towards the end. I'm not sure if it was an intentional departure from the normal rhythm or just a mess up. Either way it doesn't work.
* El Paso - nothing special for me.
* Ramble On Rose - I found this to be the worst performance on the whole set. Jerry misses half the lyrics and the song never really peaks.
* Estimaed> Eyes - this might be my favourite part of the whole release. A 1970s Estimated in multi-track is special in itself and the whole song has a strange, unreal vibe to it. I'm a bit of a sucker for Estimateds but this one just winds it way through weirdness. The Eyes is unlike any other Eyes I've heard - it's slow but just perfect for the setting. One of my favourite versions (possibly because of how unique it is).
* Terrapin> Sugar Magnolia - the Terrapin sounds great (as does the whole release) but they don't come close to nailing the performance. I like the transition - I would have much preferred to have had the Drumz portion on the bonus disc actually, rather than the Bertha> Good Lovin, El Paso and Ramble On Rose. Sugar Magnolia is funny - Weir and Donna are obviously enjoying themselves - a real lot.
I agree with what has been said before. Any footage of the band playing in Egypt is worth a look and luckily some of it is worth and second (and third, fourth, etc) look.
* I prefer the Bertha> Good Lovin when I can see the band.
* It's great seeing Ollin Arageed. Sadly the Fire stops at the final jam. I guess there wasn't footage of the rest of the song? I don't believe they would skip half of Fire in favour of something else.
Actually, it's already been mentioned, but any feedback we could get about the DVD material (i.e. what was available, what wasn't, how the tracks were selected) would be great.
My only other feedback re: this release is that I don't understand why tracks are placed out of order. I think it's one thing to skip songs (like has been done on previous Dick's Picks releases) but it seems a bit strange to re-arrange tracks. If you're going to have seven out of ten songs from the first set on the one cd, along with a few tracks from the previous night, why not put the tracks in order, the missing songs notwithstanding, rather than putting track 5 in second position, track 2 in fourth position, etc. It just seems a bit arbitrary.
Anyway, this release is good fun. It's not a classic but I don't think that should surprise anyone. It's definitely a time capsule and it's amazing to think these shows even took place. The band members were obviously out of their crusts for a lot of the trip and it shows in the music. It's incredibly lose, but it's also really unique. I think some of the performances don't deserve to be released (Ramble On Rose comes to mind) but there is some really good, one-of-a-kind stuff on this release. Give it a go. Unfortunately, the bonus disc contains some of the best (and worst) stuff and seems to be unavailable.
I have begun listening to the records (no glue problem) and so far this is my verdict:
* Egypt 78 Bonus Disc: average (three stars out of five)
* From Egypt With Love Bonus Disc: Very Nice! Great Estimated! (four stars)
* Egypt 78, second disc: VERY, VERY NICE from Ollin Arageed to Space (close to five stars), but loses a bit for the rest of the record (a weak four stars).
That's what I've been listening to so far and I haven't watched the DVD yet.
My record collection: