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We had Devil Gate Drive long before MTV

So MTV started in 1981 and that’s when singers started doing music videos, right?

Wrong.

There is a clip on YouTube that I like to watch every once in a while. It’s by Suzi Quatro and her band for a song called Devil Gate Drive, which came out in 1974.

Let me get one thing straight. This is not a high-tech video with tons of special effects and lots of clever cuts and guest stars.

It’s in black-and-white and looks like it may have been shot at an abandoned fairground of some kind in England. Quatro, who was 24 at the time but looks about 17, and her three bandmates (guitar, keyboards and drums) do a fair bit of ‘dancing’ in the video. The choreography is pretty simple, usually just involving everybody kicking in time at the end of each line of the chorus.

It’s also kind of funny to see Quatro with bandmates, since she’s quite short and all of them are a fair bit taller.

What else is there about the video that tells you how old it is? Well, in some of the choruses you can see the guys in the band dancing in the background while the camera is in a closeup on Suzi, and then it cuts to Suzi behind some flowers or other props and you’re left kind of wondering why they had the guys dancing if they weren’t going to show them.

But then after you watch the video a couple of times and have a chuckle at how old-fashioned it looks, you start to notice a couple of things.

First, all four of them are obviously having fun in the video. They’re not making a mockery of things, they’re just getting into what they’re supposed to do and enjoying it.

Second, Devil Gate Drive is a great song. I don’t think it was ever released in Canada, which is a shame, because it did well on the charts in other countries, including going all the way to No. 1 in England.

The song could be released tomorrow and would probably be a hit because it’s old-fashioned, hard-driving rock and roll.

They might want to do a different video, though.

What do you think about this story?