Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
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Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
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Notes

Rocking The Cradle: Grateful Dead Photo Egypt 1978
Egypt 1978
 
 
Photo credit & copyright
Adrian Boot
More photos at my other site.
 
Hamza El Din
 
030105GratefulDead iTunes downloads
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 MP3's
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 

Rocking the Cradle is a two disc, one DVD package. I started off with a few cuts from the DVD. The live footage runs 97 minutes, and additionally, there is a cool "extra" called The Vacation Tapes that show the band doing some sight seeing, and having fun with some great sounds behind them. Most of the music on the DVD is on the CD. Not all, "Bertha" > "Good Lovin'" are not on the standard disc, but if you got the bonus disc, they are on that. The DVD is not a continuous performance and the outro jams on some of tracks are not complete and fade out. In short, a really nice memento, live 1978 Grateful Dead DVD footage, yum.  

The two disc audio compilation has most of 9/16 show, and some highlights tracks from 9/15. If you got the bonus disc, you'd have nearly all of the 9/16 show, but you'd have to put rearrange it.  

Rocking the Cradle is one the best sounding GD releases with a real "being there" feel to it, actually, it is probably the best. The instruments layer and weave through each other in delightful ways. It is awesome! 

The second disc is most of set two. Due to space limitations, two missing songs are on the first disc, "I Need a Miracle" > "It's All Over Now." One song, "Sunrise" was omitted. Several high points and strong moments are captured. First "Ollin Arageed" gets the groove going leading to a long, fully explored "Fire on the Mountain." Its conclusion and transition almost felt like they were going into “Not Fade Away.” Instead, they shifted the beat and treated us to very enjoyable version of  “Iko Iko.” I’m sure glad it wasn't "Not Fade Away." Next up,  the second version of “Shakedown Street” is stronger than expected for a song so new. In addition to having the framework down solid, they are in no hurry and their relaxed manner flows from the speaker. The jam takes several turns and is multi-dimensional. The band hits some high points during “Truckin’,” and “Stella Blue” sure is pretty, with Keith hitting the kind piano fills, Phil in all the right places, Jerry's voice sounding so fine, the drummers quietly and strongly at the right time, and Bobby avoiding the slide.

The first disc has solid versions of nine songs. There weren't aren't any definitive versions. Probably not even great versions, just good performances. However, the excellent sound quality makes them very, very enjoyable to listen to. 

Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 is highly recommended. I've skimmed through the video, but most of my review is of the audio. I know I have highly rated release when I complete my review and I plan on listening to it several more times before putting it on the shelf. While not a complete show, Rocking the Cradle flows as if it were one with the song sequencing. I especially like the second disc, not a typically set list list, strong performances, and lots of peak moments. the superb mix make this release so satisfying and is, no question, 100% essential. 

by Barry Small
Grade A +

P.S. With such good sonics, I would have liked to have seen as much of run as possible released. I didn't hear the bonus disc, which does have another disc worth of music.

 
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Track List

 Top of Page

Track Listing

Disc 1
1. Jack Straw
2. Row Jimmy
3. 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

DVD
Track Listing
1.Bertha
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

Dead.net Exclusive Bonus CD (limited time)
9/16/78
1. Bertha
2. Good Lovin'
3. El Paso
4. Ramble On Rose

9/15/78
5. Estimated Prophet
6. Eyes Of The World
7. Terrapin Station
8. Sugar Magnolia
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Musicians:       

Top of Page

Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Mickey Hart: Drums
Bill Kreutzmann: Drums
Phil Lesh: Electric Bass, Vocals
Bob Weir: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Keith Godchaux: Keyboards
Donna Godchaux: Vocals

Guests:
Hamza El Din 
Nubian Youth Choir
 

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

Hamza El Din

Eclipse

Track Listings
1. Helalisa 
2. The Visitors 
3. Ollin Arageed 
4. Your Love Is Ever Young 
5. Mwashah

From the Label
Hamza El Din, pioneering oud master from Sudan, performs mesmerizing music based on traditional Arabic forms.
As the Moors swept across the northern stretches of the African continent, they left in their wake a rich legacy of music, myths, and legends. Performing brilliantly on the oud (the Arab precursor of the lute) and on the tar (the ancient single-skinned frame drum of the upper Nile), interwoven with his hypnotic voice, he has singlehandedly created a new music, essentially a Nubian/Arabic fusion in line with both traditions and informed by Western conservatory training. This album includes an original composition,"The Visitors," which he composed in Baghdad in 1965, in Iraqi Arabic with Egyptian melody and Sudanese pentatonic.

Other tracks feature his arrangements of traditional songs celebrating a first wedding ("Ollin Arageed"); sending a river-pulley worker's greetings to his beloved via a pelican ("Helalisa"); and paying tribute to the incomparable Egyptian songstress Um Kalthoum (1902-1975). "Mwashah" is a classical piece from the time of the Moors in Spain, traditionally used to train voices.

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Notes:

Top of Page

Released - Sept. 2008
Sound recording – John Kahn, Betty Cantor-Jackson, Bob Matthews
Booklet essay - Alan Trist 
Compilation producer – David Lemieux 
CD mastering – Jeffrey Norman 
Recorded on 24 track masters
etc. 

Grateful Dead in Egypt Photos at my other site.

From Dead.net - Richard Loren: How Egypt Happened

Rare Tracks on Anniversary of Return from Egypt

From the Grateful Dead website, David Lemieux, discusses a rehearsal jam with Hamza, and links up some of the sounds.

The Grateful Dead email about the "Rare Tracks."
"30 years ago this week, the Grateful Dead celebrated their triumphant return from Egypt with a series of legendary concerts at Winterland. Among many magical moments, these shows feature Hamza El Din, the renowned Egyptian oud player. His inspired collaboration with the band on "Ollin Arageed" weaves east to west in rhythmic bliss.

Guess what we discovered on the end of a studio session reel? It's a rehearsal recorded back in August of 1978 with Hamza El Din on oud, Mickey Hart on tar, and Jerry Garcia on acoustic guitar. So, we thought we would commemorate the anniversary of the "From Egypt with Love" shows by sharing these rare and unreleased tracks with you, gratis."

From Setlists.com

09/14/78 (Thu)  Son Et Lumiere Theater - Giza, Egypt
Set 1: Ollin Arrageed* > Not Fade Away, Me & My Uncle, They Love Each Other, Minglewood Blues, Peggy-O, Beat It On Down The Line, Deal

Set 2: Sugaree, Samson & Delilah, Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Truckin' > The Other One > Drums > Black Peter > Around and Around
09/15/78 (Fri)  Son Et Lumiere Theater - Giza, Egypt
Set 1: Ollin Arrageed* > Promised Land, Friend Of The Devil, Mama Tried > Big River, Loser, I Need A Miracle, Stagger Lee

Set 2: Jack Straw, Ship of Fools, Estimated Prophet > Eyes Of The World > Drums > Terrapin Station > Sugar Magnolia
09/16/78 (Sat)  Son Et Lumiere Theater - Giza, Egypt
Set 1: Bertha > Good Lovin', Candyman, Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, El Paso, Ramble On Rose, Minglewood Blues, Deal

Set 2: Ollin Arrageed* > Fire On The Mountain > Iko Iko, I Need A Miracle > It's All Over Now, Sunrise, Shakedown Street > Drums > Truckin' > Stella Blue > Around and Around, E: One More Saturday Night

Comment: *W Hamza El Din Lunar Eclipse
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978
Grateful Dead in Egypt photos
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

From the GD website
The Dead Rock the Cradle of Civilization 2-CD/1-DVD Collection Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 Celebrates The 30th Anniversary of the Band’s Historic Concerts at Giza With Previously Unreleased Audio and Video

Fans Who Pre-Order on Dead.net Will Receive an Exclusive Bonus Disc Containing Additional Egypt Performances. Pre-Order Available August 1st.

Available September 30 from Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino

In the fall of 1978, author and counterculture icon Ken Kesey reported to a close friend that he had recently witnessed “the latest Rocking of the Cradle of Civilization.” The course of events that he went on to recall was the Grateful Dead’s assorted family, friends and fellow Pranksters—“Pyramidiots” of various origins—descent upon Egypt’s Nile Valley that culminated in three legendary concerts performed at the foot of the Great Pyramid in Gizah. Although perhaps unintentionally, the entire adventure might have been easily seen, as Kesey did, as one very special contribution to the then-critical Middle Eastern peace effort. To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of this cosmic convergence of sound and sphinx, Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino will release ROCKING THE CRADLE: EGYPT 1978, a collection of highlights from this historic three-night stand. The 2-CD/1-DVD set will be available September 30 at regular retail outlets and www.dead.net for a suggested list price of $34.98. Fans who pre-order the set from Dead.net will receive an exclusive eight-song bonus disc that includes additional unreleased performances from the Egypt run. A digital version that includes all the CD content will also be also available.

Recorded September 15-16, 1978 at the Gizah Sound and Light Theater, the original 24-track recordings have been remastered for this set in HDCD for superior sound quality. The two CDs contain 18 tracks featuring more than three hours of music, including a version of “Fire On The Mountain” that many fans consider one of the band’s best. Except for three performances that appeared on 2004’s Beyond Description boxed set, the tracks on ROCKING THE CRADLE have never been released. The accompanying DVD features more than 100 minutes of footage; including 13 songs from the third and final Egypt show, which took place during a rare lunar eclipse. Legendary promoter Bill Graham called this show “one of the great experiences of my life.” The DVD also includes a featurette titled “The Vacation Tapes” which catches never-before-seen candid band footage from the trip. The set comes in pyramid-inspired packaging and features rare photos from the trip and liner notes by longtime Dead associate Alan Trist, who was pivotal in making the trek to Egypt happen.

Trist recalls that “the Dead long dreamed of playing at the foot of the Great Pyramid.” However, pulling off this dream proved to be a monumental task as no other American band had ever performed there. The band spent months planning and making arrangements with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. The band agreed to pay all of its own expenses for the trip and donated all of the proceeds from ticket sales to several Egyptian charities, as well as the Department of Antiquities, which preserves the country’s ancient treasures. Another major challenge was the minimal amount of power available at Gizah, which required the band to bring in an enormous generator to power its state-of-the-art sound and recording equipment. In the end, the massive effort paid off. The shows were spectacular successes, attracting a mix of world cultures including American Dead Heads and European fans as well as curious Egyptians and Bedouins on camels drawn by the unusual spectacle.

Unbeknownst to the band at the time, these shows would soon have a remarkable historical context. On September 17, the day after the last show, the Camp David Peace Accords were signed after nearly two weeks of secret negotiations. The Accords lead to the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, which made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel and ended a near 30-year state of war between the two countries. One has to wonder if the Dead’s message of peace and love might have had some sort of impact on the negotiations.

ROCKING THE CRADLE features Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals), Keith Godchaux (keyboards), Mickey Hart (drums), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), Phil Lesh (electric bass, vocals), and Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals). These performances took place just a few months before the band released Shakedown Street, its tenth studio album. The shows featured performances of several songs from the upcoming album, including the title track, “I Need A Miracle,” “Fire On The Mountain,” and an updated take on the blues standard, “Stagger Lee.” The band also peppered its Egyptian setlists with classics like “Deal,” “Truckin’” and “Stella Blue.”

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

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 preorders 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). What’s more, all preorders placed through dead.net by the official release date, September 30, will receive an exclusive bonus CD of still more great material from the Egypt gigs. Rocking the Cradle will be available everywhere on September 30, but the bonus disc will be exclusively available with dead.net preorders.

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”!

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

 

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