Let's See Action
The song is the first of three non-album singles by the The Who, and came from the abortive Lifehouse project. 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." The band's bassist, John Entwistle, said that the track was Pete Townshend "Trying to talk to the kids in general." 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."
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.
Charts and releases
The single was released in the UK on October 15, 1971. It reached #16 in the charts. "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. "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. "When I Was A Boy" was released on CD on Polydor's Rarities 1966–1972 Vol. 1 & 2, and MCA's Who's Missing. Let's See Action has since been included on the compilation My Generation: The Very Best of The Who, The Ultimate Collection and The Who Hits 50!.
"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.
- Roger Daltrey – vocals on "Let's See Action" (verses)
- Pete Townshend – guitars, synthesizer, vocals on "Let's See Action" (bridge)
- John Entwistle – bass guitar, horns, vocals on "When I Was A Boy"
- Keith Moon – drums.
- Nicky Hopkins – piano.
- Heylin, Clinton. All the Mad Men. Constable & Robinson Ltd. p. 1975. ISBN 9781780330785.
- Smith, Larry (1999). Pete Townshend: the minstrel's dilemma. Praeger Frederick A. p. 171. ISBN 9780275964726.
- "Let's See Action (Nothing Is Everything)". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Atkins, John (2000). The Who on Record: A Critical History, 1963–1998. McFarland. p. 169. ISBN 9780786406098.
- Neill, Andy; Kent, Matt (2011). Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958–1978. Random House. p. 292. ISBN 9780753547977.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hooligans – The Who". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Unterberger, Ritchie. "Who's Missing – The Who". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- "Let's See Action (Nothing is Everything) – Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 September 2013.