Grateful Dead

Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978

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 Information on RT 1.4

More Egypt '78

Egypt In The Archives

Photos, Passes & the Poster

The Egypt Shows

September 14, 1978
September 15, 1978
September 16, 1978


Enjoy a short video montage from the
Egypt '78 DVD.
Watch Now

Watch a Video of Bertha in Egypt,
September 16th
Watch Now


Listen in on an interview
with Richard Loren on how Egypt
Listen Now

At Long Last...
Egypt '78
Order Now

2 Disc Set + 1 DVD

:: View the boxed set in 3D!

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! 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.

Track List

Disc 1

1. “Jack Straw”

2. “Row Jimmy”

3. “New, New Minglewood Blues”

4. “Candyman”

5. “Looks Like Rain”

6. “Stagger Lee”

7. “I Need A Miracle”

8. “It’s All Over Now”

9. “Deal”


Disc 2

1. “Ollin Arageed”

2. “Fire On The Mountain”

3. “Iko Iko”

4. “Shakedown Street”

5. “Drums”

6. “Space”

7. “Truckin’”

8. “Stella Blue”

9. “Around And Around”



Track Listing


2. “Good Lovin’”

3. “Row Jimmy”

4. “New, Minglewood Blues”

5. “Candyman”

6. “Looks Like Rain”

7. “Deal”

8. “Ollin Arageed”

9. “Fire On The Mountain”

10. “Iko Iko”

11. “I Need A Miracle”

12. “It’s All Over Now”

13. “Truckin’”

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.


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Joined: Apr 23 2008
Overall thumbs up

Yeah, the band was comparatively sluggish in the Egypt run, but the sound quality is superb, the event was historical and there ARE a few top-notch moments ("Looks Like Rain"). On the other hand, Road Trips 1.4 is absolutely the BEST RT release to date. The band was hot and the sound is full. AUD splices notwithstanding, this one IS a 'must have' (I don't get riled up over the packaging).

I will, however, join the call for Rhino/GDM to return to the days when quality control of released product matched the standards that the Dead espoused throughout their career.

Joined: Jun 12 2007
Had to write partial review

First song Jack Straw is smoking. It just jumps out at you can't wait to hear whole CD.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
a review of the music

I'm gonna focus this review on the music because that's what's most important.

I have an audience recording of my first show. I can say two things about it: It's dear to my heart and I love to listen to it, AND, the boys sounds terrible. Their play is not good at all. But the historical significance is its value.

I think the same can be said for this release. They don't sound together or certain of themselves at all. The sense is that the reality of where they were, the travel, the buildup of it all, left them reaching for a peak they couldn't see. Hey, the Dead always blew the big gigs...

That's not to see this release is without its moments. They come together and do a fine job with Looks Like Rain, and the Shakedown > Drums > Space is powerful, relaxed and spacious. The rest falls short. But I found myself coming back to: "hey man, they were at the pyramids! As a serious collector, I'm glad I have this."

The Road Trips has far more gems. World to Give, Estimated, Passenger, and a blistering Stella Blue...

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
And ...

... I'm still waiting ...

Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

My record collection:

Joined: Aug 18 2008
Keep Trying

It is good that there are things being released but I think you should think things through a little better. The quality of these shows is pretty flat and sluggish though we can hear them trying. This could have worked as a box set with the Welcome Back Shows attatched too. The good stuff is spread out and chopping it up doesnt work unless the selector is really into it. Make it a complete--multi-show release with rehearsals and alot of film thrown in or something. Make it limited edition. Don't be lazy and greedy. The Dead put alot of work into what they did. You guys sometimes seem to be doing as little as possible with this beautiful gold mine you're sitting on. Put a little thought into it. Have text describing the tracks themselves, like on old jazz records. Why did you pick these songs?? Tell us why.
The main piece of advice is to get someone who wants to promote the music. The only thing that is going to have longevity is the Quality of the Music. If you get the respect of music lovers from a musical angle, you will have a whole new market of people who have never really heard the Good Stuff. The only reason there was so much money in the scene at the end was because of shows. You can never really tap into the mainstream market unless you do it by putting out the good stuff. And even then it may never get across. Why do these attempts at crowd pleasing? Know your crowd- more importantly, know your future potential crowd.
Give me a job and I'll help. Don't pay me unless I am right- I will do it for the music. You don't even have to give me credit. You can take all the credit yourself. I just want to see this have a Greater Sense of Dignity. Once the fireworks are gone all there is left is smoke.

augustwest's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007

I've had decent recordings of these shows for years, and I never listen to them. The sound quality on this release is outstanding, and I'll never listen to it either.

As far as the DVD goes -- the main reason I bought this -- the typical "caveat emptor" that accompanies live GD releases really isn't quite enough in this case. I think the most that can be said about it, given the explanations here about how a movie was one ways the band hoped to defray the cost of the trip, is WOW, the camera people were flying way too high for their assignment!

On the other hand, the cardboard "pop-ups" in the cd case are way cool, and just the sort of thing I love about the Dead's music so much! Hey Rhino, why not release a summer '74 Jerry doll next time, or maybe a Veneta puppet box?

dewahba's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2007
Egypt: the Sound etc...

For all who think the sound of this is not up to par,Ya have to try again
or have the ears cleaned up..great detailed sound, in every aspect.
For those who feel the performance is not there, Imagine Playing at such an exciting venue..
I think they started out a bit nervous but they settled into it quite well.
DVD quality is to be expected , but what a nice treat to see what happened there.
Watch Phil for a minute or 2, he was just rockin' on and on not to mention Jerry was full of smiles. if he didn't think they were doing well he wouldn't be so happy.

As for GD customer Service, I have been a fan and a customer for many years now
I have NEVER encountered a problem. Don't forget once your order has been shipped
( and they notify by e-mail ) its is no longer in their hands to be sure it gets delivered
on time ( each and every individual's expectation of what "on time means" is different )
all in all A great release.

Joined: Oct 4 2008
I am DONE posting here. I CAN'T stand it....


And this is the post that did it to me:

"....Ultimately, I still believe the best stuff came from the '87-'90 era, with '88 being the absolute peak of their live sound, performance and the most underrepresented year release wise....."

Here's all the sarcasm I can muster:

Yeah, forget 73. Who CARES about 69? 77? WHY would ANYONE want to listen to a show from 77?

I give up. And I used to condescend to the old DHs who wouldn't even KEEP a tape without Dark Star on it. I called them "Dark Star pussies".

Oh, for those days to return.

Infuriating, to say the LEAST.


Joined: Oct 4 2008

"...WOW . Just WOW. Forget all the BS reviews you have read. This release is the SH*T . The first thing I rocked was the DVD. Looks Like Rain is jaw dropping. Total chills. Jerry is spot on. Donna and Mr. Weir are like peanut butter and jelly. I forgot just how GREAT 1978 is and was. This is MUST HAVE MATERIAL!!!! Don't be caught with out it...."

WHAT are you people listening to? Have you accidently put a great 78 show in yer CD player? Because there is NOTHING happening during these shows.

"When they don't fall apart..."

When AREN'T they falling apart during these shows?

"Warts and all..."

IT'S ALL WARTS. Don't you LISTEN to the tones coming through your speakers? Someone make a quick list of the tunes the boys manage to GET CLOSE to playing well.

Is that four or FIVE songs? Three?

I REALLY don't understand these glowing reveiws. Every note GD played is not the Gospel according to Jerry. These are HUMANS playing INSTRUMENTS, not cherubim emoting around God's pointed, little head.

I know, I know....tastes vary, but THIS? You have GOT to be kidding me. You could throw a DART at a wall of dates from 78 and hit ANY OF THEM and get a better show.

Dead COVER bands sound better that the Boys do in front of the pyramids.

Don't be so slavish in your desires. These are novelty shows, and noting more.

Here's a CRAZY idea: Perhaps they released these to TEST us. Maybe they want to see if the "fans" that remain actually LISTEN or will they BUY ANYTHING and declare it a "classic".

I think, much to my regret, that it is truly the latter. How unfortunate.


deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

What can I say? I believe 1988 is the worst year EVER in Grateful Dead live history ... *s* ... but then I look more to music and the feel of live concerts and less to the sound, even though a really bad sound can ruin many a good show.

What I like best about the Dead is the jamming, the instrumental parts, and when I look in my DeadBase '88 and see's the short versions of nearly every song that year, I don't get much inspiration. I have had a pair of shows from 1988 on high quality tapes and none of them got to me. The Worcester 4-8-88 show must have felt like a rip-off for people like me, as both sets clocks in at about 50 minutes each. I mean, how inspired can the Dead be playing a 50 minutes second set that late in their career??

Maybe I'm wrong or maybe I would have loved 1988 if I would have been at the shows in person, but I suspect not ...

But I agree The Dead was injected with new blood, so to speak, from Fall '89 and even managed to maintain some of that inspiration beyond the tragic loss of Brent Mydland.

Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

My record collection:


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