The band were formed as The Boys in August 1963, in Kentish Town, North West London. After Peter Watson joined them as an additional guitarist in 1965, they changed their name to The Action. The original members were Reg King (lead vocals) (born Reginald King, 5 February 1945, Paddington, West London, died, 8 October 2010, Belvedere, Kent), Alan 'Bam' King (lead guitar, vocals) (born Alan King, 18 September 1945, Muswell Hill, North London), Mike "Ace" Evans (bass guitar, vocals) (born Michael Evans, 10 July 1944, Henley, Berkshire, died 15 January 2010, London) and Roger Powell (drums) (born 4 July 1945, Camden Town, North West London).
Shortly after their formation, they signed to Parlophone. "Land of a Thousand Dances" b/w "In My Lonely Room" was well received by critics, but sold poorly. None of the Action's singles achieved success in the UK Singles Chart.
After disastrous experiences with the Rikki Farr management, Peter Watson (born in 1945, Kings Cross, London) left the band in 1966. They continued as quartet, but were dropped from Parlophone in 1967. In the late 1960s keyboardist Ian Whiteman (born 18 May 1945, Saffron Walden, Essex) and guitarist Martin Stone (born 11 December 1946, Wokingham, Surrey) joined the band and the Action moved toward a mid-tempo psychedelic ballad style, and then into folk rock. Reg King left the band in 1967, and Alan King took over as main lead vocalist. In 1969, when signing to John Curd's Head Records, the band was renamed Mighty Baby.
Alan King later went on to form Ace.
Notably, they are one of the favorite bands of Phil Collins, who performed with the reunited band in 2000. "For me it was like playing with the Beatles", he later commented on the experience.