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Published: 2008/08/27

_ Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978_

Highlights from the Grateful Deads 1978 trek to Egypt are finally available. The Dead confirmed release of _ Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978_ a few weeks ago, but the fans are only now able to purchase the long overdue set.

In September 1978, the Grateful Dead traveled to Egypt for a run of shows at the Sound & Light Theater, a venue located in the dunes outside Cairo, not far from the Great Pyramid and Sphinx. Though the Grateful Deads three-night run in Egypt is somewhat uneven musically, the shows are not without their highlights. In a message on dead.net, Relix contributor Blair Jackson says, 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 couldnt stay away from the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the Dead werent about to let those Egypt multi-tracks stay buried by the sands of time. Next thing you know theres a phone call to ace GD mixer Jeffrey Norman and he and vault keeper David Lemieux discover that despite the problems with the first nights tapes, theres 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.
_ Rocking the Cradle: Grateful Dead, Egypt 1978_ will feature two CDs and a DVD worth of material from the run of shows, plus a mini-documentary that shows the band and Dead family at play. Fans who preorder the set will also receive an exclusive bonus CD of extra material from the songs.

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