This was originally written by Pete Townshend for his aborted Lifehouse project, which was intended to be a Rock Opera similar to The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia. Many of the songs Townshend wrote for Lifehouse ended up on the 1971 Who's Next album. "Let's See Action" was recorded for the album, but didn't make the cut. Instead, it was released as a single in the fall of 1971 in the UK peaking at #16. In the US it remained unreleased until its inclusion on the Hooligans compilation album in 1981.
Roger Daltrey recalled to Uncut magazine October 2001: "Pete was going through a terrible bitterness about the fact that Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp hadn't got behind making Lifehouse as a film. But the reason they didn't get behind it was because they couldn't get to grips with the narrative, and I still feel to this day – even though Pete's done his Lifehouse Chronicles box and done it as a radio play – well, I'm sorry but though there's some incredible music in there and some sparks of theoretical and theological ideas, I think the narrative thread of the story is about as exciting as a f---ing whelk race! But I always liked 'Let's See Action.' It's got that texture of explosive rock'n'roll bits mixed in with a laid-back, almost country feel. I still love the sentiment behind it, too."
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.