The album was recorded at The Band's Shangri-la Studios in March 1976, and included involvement from all five members; Rick Danko shared vocals with Clapton on "All Our Past Times," which he co-wrote with Clapton. The album also includes a duet with Bob Dylan on his otherwise unreleased song "Sign Language." The booklet in Bob Dylan's box set The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 describes his involvement in this album. Dylan dropped by and was just hanging out, living in a tent at the bottom of the garden. He would sneak into the studio to see what was going on. Dylan offered his new, unrecorded song "Seven Days" to Clapton. Clapton passed on it, but Ron Wood took him up on the offer and released it on his third solo album Gimme Some Neck.
The song "Innocent Times" is sung by Marcy Levy, who also shared vocals with Clapton on "Hungry." Female vocals are also on many of the other songs. Yvonne Elliman, who is thanked on the back cover, sang on some of the songs too.
No Reason to Cry was released in CD format on 25 October 1990.