Chances are, if you asked the average guy on the street if he'd ever heard of "Teenage Kicks," he'd probably frown quizzically and politely ask you what you were smoking. That, or he'd run screaming for the nearest police station. Ask John Peel the same question, and you'd get a very different response. That's because the legendary British DJ holds the Undertones' first single as his favorite pop song of all time -- and considering that Peel has spun some of the most influential records in rock history, that's a pretty grand statement. "I can't listen to it now without getting all dewy eyed," says Peel. "And if I play it on the radio I have to segue it into the front of another record because I can't speak after I've heard it." One listen to "Teenage Kicks" and it's not hard to see why Peel is so fervent about it. A delirious summer blast of adolescent angst, the song sports every characteristic of a classic pop composition: a memorable, hook-filled melody; singalong lyrics; production tailor-made for car stereos; and, above all, brevity. In two minutes, 25 seconds, it's over, and you're scrambling for the rewind button. In fact, "Teenage Kicks" is such a perfect marriage of teen vitriol and pop savvy, it's almost incomprehensible that the song didn't fare better commercially. Originally released in September 1978 on the independent label Good Vibrations, it failed to chart. Thanks to Peel's steadfast radio support, though, the Undertones were soon signed to Sire Records, and the song was reissued in October, hitting a decent 31 on the U.K. charts. It was later featured on the band's eponymous 1979 debut, which reached number 13 in Britain but tanked in the U.S. Time has been especially kind to "Teenage Kicks," however. It is now widely acknowledged as a classic -- a pop-punk standard that continues to point the way for countless bands on both sides of the Atlantic.