Let's See Action

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"Let's See Action"
Single by The Who
B-side "When I Was A Boy" (John Entwistle)
Released October 15, 1971 (single)
Format 7" Single
Recorded 1971
Genre Rock
Length 3:57
Label Track Records
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) The Who
Glyn Johns
The Who singles chronology
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
"Let's See Action"
"Behind Blue Eyes"

Let's See Action is a song written and composed by Pete Townshend and recorded by The Who. It was released as a single in the UK in 1971 and reached #16 in the charts.

The song is one of many tributes by Pete Townshend to Meher Baba, others being "Baba O'Riley" and "Don't Let Go the Coat".[citation needed]

Song notes[edit]

The song is the first of three non-album singles by the The Who,[1] and came from the abortive Lifehouse project.[2] Pete Townshend's demo version, which appears on his first major label solo album Who Came First as "Nothing Is Everything (Let's See Action)", is longer than the version on the single and contains the additional lines, "Rumor has it minds are open. Then rumors fill them up with lies."[3] The band's bassist, John Entwistle, said that the track was Pete Townshend "Trying to talk to the kids in general."[1] According to The Who's biographer John Atkins, the song takes ideas from the teachings of Meher Baba, encompassing "Soul searching and the utilization of positive impulses from within."[4]


The B-side of the single was "When I Was A Boy", which was written and sung by John Entwistle. According to John Atkins, this song is a lament about lost childhood and coping with adulthood that follows.[4]

Charts and releases[edit]

The single was released in the UK on October 15, 1971.[5] It reached #16 in the charts.[4] "Let's See Action" was also released as a single in several other countries, but not in the U.S., where it remained unreleased until its inclusion on the Hooligans compilation album in 1981.[6] "Let's See Action" was also remixed by Jon Astley and Andy Macpherson for the 30 Years of Maximum R&B box set in 1994.[4] "When I Was A Boy" was released on CD on Polydor's Rarities 1966–1972 Vol. 1 & 2, and MCA's Who's Missing.[7] The song was then found on the compilation My Generation: The Very Best of The Who' and again on The Ultimate Collection.

Live performances[edit]

"Let's See Action" was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000 with Eddie Vedder sharing lead vocals with Roger Daltrey. This performance later appeared on the live album Live at the Royal Albert Hall.[8]



  1. ^ a b Heylin, Clinton. All the Mad Men. Constable & Robinson Ltd. p. 1975. ISBN 9781780330785. 
  2. ^ Smith, Larry (1999). Pete Townshend: the minstrel's dilemma. Praeger Frederick A. p. 171. ISBN 9780275964726. 
  3. ^ "Let's See Action (Nothing Is Everything)". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Atkins, John (2000). The Who on Record: A Critical History, 1963–1998. McFarland. p. 169. ISBN 9780786406098. 
  5. ^ Neill, Andy; Kent, Matt (2011). Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958–1978. Random House. p. 292. ISBN 9780753547977. 
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hooligans – The Who". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Unterberger, Ritchie. "Who's Missing – The Who". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Let's See Action (Nothing is Everything) – Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013.