Chief songwriter and frontman Dan Gillespie Sells wrote this song alone at home. He spent the post-Christmas period on his own after breaking up with his boyfriend of five years. Gillespie Sells played the song to bandmate Richard Jones after the bassist had returned from seeing the New Year in with his wife, Sophie Ellis Bextor. Jones recalled to The Independent: "Dan said, 'I've written this new song, it's way too depressing, I don't think we can use it', and he played it to me. I said, 'no, it's just real, this is your heart and what's happening with you which is the thing that makes it worth doing.'"
The photograph on the Cried Wolf album cover was taken at Elstree Aerodrome, where Richard Jones practices his other love, flying.
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.