The first 100 or so times I listened to Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns, I didn't really take much notice of the opening track "In France They Kiss on Main Street". It's the most conventional sounding pop song on the album, and for a long time I was so focused on the enticing strangeness of all the other songs that this one just didn't make much of an impression. The other day, however, I pulled up this album on my iPod and without warning the greatness of this song suddenly knocked me flat. It's a nostalgia song about being young and wild in a very specific time, when "rock 'n' roll" stood for a certain kind of rebelliousness that sounds almost quaint now. It's sort of a short story about being a teenager in a very different time and place.
I'm not sure if it takes most people a year or so of listening to this song for it to suddenly come through and take life, but I'm glad it finally did for me. It's great. Below is a slightly weird video of a live version...judging by her hair and clothes, a live version from the 1980s.