This apocalyptic track was inspired by a turquoise-encrusted ring, which a mysterious stranger sent to mainman Conor Oberst. The inscription on the band says in Hebrew: "Father of the four winds fill my sails across the sea of years."
This was ranked #5 on Rolling Stone'slist of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.
The "slouching towards Bethlehem" line references the last line ("Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born") of WB Yeats' 1919 poem The Second Coming. Electric Six also referenced the same line in their 2005 track "Jimmy Carter" ("And there's a lion out in the desert slouching towards Bethlehem to be born... again").
The Cassadaga album was named after a spiritualist community in Florida that Oberst had visited.
Angus Young created the distinctive opening guitar part for "Thuderstruck" by playing with all the strings taped up, except the B. He learned the studio trick from his older brother George Young, who was the rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats.