Monsters of Folk are an indie supergroup made up of Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, and indie singer-songwriter M. Ward. Mogis, who also produced the album, recalled the recording of this track to Express Night Out: "That was kind of a collaborative thing [a repetitive motif where each vocalist repeats the same line back and forth]. There's sort of weird effects that go with it. I honestly can't remember who's idea it was, I think Jim just did that "There and then you're gone," and then Conor was like, "You should do it again." And then that call and response thing [emerged]. I put some treatments to the vocals to give it reappearing and disappearing sort of feel, so it doesn't feel quite as obvious. I think it was like a group brainstorming moment where everyone was throwing the same idea out at the same time."
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.