The songs follow the cycle of a relationship from its beginning to an end, according to the lyric content and sequencing of songs. Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," recorded prior to her own release of the song, can be read as the turning point of the relationship while "Rockport Sunday" ends the romance using an instrumental piece, followed by the coda "No Regrets." Supporting this concept is the cover shot, which pictures then girlfriend Jill Lumpkin behind Tom Rush as photographed by Linda Eastman.
On May 9, 2008, Rhino/Warner released a fully remastered 40th Anniversary Edition. Three bonus tracks were added, including the single versions of "Something in the Way She Moves" and "Urge for Going," plus a previously unreleased acoustic first take of "The Circle Game." In addition, the 42-second instrumental coda to "No Regrets", which ends the original album, appears for the first time on CD.