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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KCJONZ68's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Egypt 78 ... AWESOME!!!

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.

Joined: Feb 5 2008
Egypt '78 a total bust

I hate to say it, but I have not been impressed with the Egypt '78 collection.

Nice Packaging (Except that CD one was glued to the cardboard), nice sound quality but the band was definitely off track. There is no "groove" to the Fire/Iko/Shakedown Street trio at all, I was yawning and wondering why the band didn't seem to be having fun. The DVD show starts about 7 measures into Bertha. Bob Weir sounds like a lunatic on Estimated Prophet, Jerry forgets the lyrics on Terrapin, Ramblin Rose and quite a few others. Donna Jean is way out of tune, and the rhythm section seems weak. Watching the video footage, which was my favorite part of the collection it looks as if Billy is only drumming with one hand, he has a cast on the other. The whole show is filmed from one angle, which is lousy. The home movies in the Bonus section were my favorite part of the whole thing. Eyes of the World is good, and Candyman has it's moments. El Paso is the high-point of the show for me (on the bonus CD). Disc one was okay, disc two was terrible. This was a valiant attempt to recapture a historical musical experience but I have to give it a 1-star rating. My apologies, but better luck next time. If you are going to buy some live Dead, spend your $40 on some good Dick's Picks.


"The heat came round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day."

Joined: Jun 4 2007
About the Egypt performances

Now that I've had a few days to take in this release, I can honestly say that the Egypt performances sound inspired to me. Egypt, like much of '76-'78 is a good gauge how the band sounded in that era. Decent performances following a period of their best songwriting.

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.

enlightend rogue's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
Egypt and RT 4

I have also heard the complaint's here about the glue in the packaging [ I had some on both cd's], the fold out packaging {wich is kind of usless, do I need this foldout pyramid? Am I going to display it anywhere?} The performances of a certain song.{some are pretty bad}The lack of multiple shot's on the video, all valid point's . However it is what it is people and that is The Grateful Dead in all its unmitigated Glory!! Or as Phil said about Dicks Pick's "warts and all" . This music is the soundtrack to my life and the people who made it are as close to family as I will let any perfomers before or after be.
The music on Egypt is highly unpredictable in its performances almost as if the band is trying to go somwhere it will never go again . Maybe because of the importance of the locale. The Road Trip discs are a little more predictable in it's content. But the band is still stoking a fire from the Egypt trip that would not extinguish until spring of the following year when they broke Brent in.
Please keep these kind of releases coming . How about 11/24/ 78 from the Capitol theatre in New Jersey > I know Jerry's voice was shot but his guitar playing that night was epic. And I know as a fact Video does exist.

stone jack baller's picture
Joined: Jun 8 2007
Super Glue

So I pull out CD #2 and there's this little wad stuck to the edge of it.

Is it glue ??? Is it a boogy ???

Now I figure this is the 30th Anniversary of the Great Egypt Prank.

So I put the little wad under my tongue.

And halfway thru the DVD, Cheops starts smiling and off we go.............

Happy Anniversareeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

deadmike's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Shipped on the 24th

... and still waiting ... in Sweden ...

Micke Östlund,
Växjö, Sweden

My record collection:

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
good stuff

I'm really enjoying the reviews...helps with the wait!

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
No longer waiting...

Finally, 12 days after receiving the "Order shipped" mail, the eagerly awaited package has made it across the pond to Holland - despite the server's best efforts to cause mayhem during the pre-order marathon. A big "Thank you" to Marye for helping out with that as and when needed. One CD has a small "glue issue" on the very edge, but not on the playing surface luckily. The whole package looks great - now all I have to do is listen and watch, then listen to Road Trips 1.4. That lot should keep me in a state of bliss for quite a while. Why am I sitting here writing this when I should be firing up the stereo? Time to go for the comfy chair!

Joined: Sep 18 2007
Still Waiting...

My Egypt discs shipped on 9/25, 12 days ago. When should I start to worry that they got lost in the mail?

Jeff VanderVeen
"May the 4 winds blow you safely home."

Joined: Jul 5 2007
Very Happy w/ Egypt

I've been reading lots of complaints here. I can't argue with the pressing issues and glue issues, but the quality of the performance... Everyone knows these shows were not the best the Dead ever played. However, there is some truly rich stuff going on here. And the energy is quite unique. There's a mellow groove happening with some really heartfelt moments. Jerry's singing is unusually sweet. And I have to say, there's a weird underlying tension that they could fall apart at any given moment. And they do once or twice. And in a weird way, I dig that. Because when they don't fall apart, they tend to maintain something pretty wild and different from any other Dead show I've heard. It's not just historic for the place, but for the music which was absolutely unique in its imperfections. I've read people on this forum complain about Cow Palace not being worthy, or being disappointed in Winterland '73... It's all a matter of taste. I think both those sets are extraordinary! So there is no show not worth releasing, but especially worthwhile is a set of shows this historic and unique. Regardless of whether or not you think it's among the best the Dead ever played. There will ALWAYS be a difference of opinion here. ALWAYS. There were Dick's Picks releases that simply don't come anywhere near my ideal and I wondered to myself, "Why this show?" But I'm still glad to have it and I know that for someone else out there, it's their favorite show!

As for quality control, well, yeah, they obviously need to address that and hopefully will. But the vault's under new management and they're probably not used to this kind of musical following. So do what deadheads do best and let them know in a courteous manner. I doubt it's personal.

I would love to make one suggestion to the Rhino/Dead folks: I'm always interested in how choices are made for what to put in and what to leave out, what was available, what was not usable, etc. If not in the packaging, then on your site would be great. For example:the FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN on the DVD cuts just as the last and best jam begins. And we lose that terrific transition to AIKO. Was that a time choice? Or was there simply no usable footage for that segment? Again, it's just a request to hear more about the making of these sets and the footage that exists. As you know (or are figuring out), there are a lot of people who take this music and its history and the collecting of it very seriously. Or at least with great enthusiasm!

Thanks again for Egypt. And all its glorious imperfections! I love it!


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