This was the band's first release with Warner/Reprise after being lured away from Blue Horizon and a one-off with Immediate Records. Forty years on, Fleetwood Mac remain with Warner. The album, which at its original UK release had an unusually long running time, has been released with four different song line-ups. The original CD compiled all songs from the two US LP versions, both of which omitted tracks from the original UK version. In August 2013, a remastered edition of the album was reissued on vinyl and CD, restoring its original 1969 UK track listing. This version reached No. 112 on the UK Albums chart.
The painting used for the cover of the album is "Domesticated Mural Painting", by the English artist Maxwell Armfield. It was featured in the February 1917 edition of The Countryside magazine, which states that the mural was originally designed for the dining room of a London mansion.
When the double-sided single "Oh Well (pts 1 & 2)" (released November 1969) became a hit, the US LP was re-released in a revised running order to include "Oh Well", dropping Danny Kirwan's "When You Say" and "My Dream" to make room for it. The two parts of "Oh Well" differ widely, the first being hard rock, the latter a meditative instrumental, on which Green played cello. The first minute or so of "Part 2" was included as a fade-out coda to the A-side of the single. For the album, "Oh Well, Parts 1 & 2" were crudely spliced together, so that the coda is heard twice. Without the repeat the whole piece runs only 7:58. "Part 1" of "Oh Well" has remained a regular concert feature to the present day.
Other changes include putting the two edits from the "Madge" jams back-to-back, fading down between them. The giggle that previously linked "My Dream" to "Like Crying" ended up, in the previous edit, following the end of "Fighting for Madge" instead. Madge, the press were told at the time, was a female fan of the group, immortalised in two long instrumental jams finally released in their entirely in 2002's "The Vaudeville Years".
The CD release sticks mostly to the order of the revised US track listing, but re-inserts the two deleted songs ("My Dream" and "When You Say") in new locations. The giggle is now tied to the end of "Fighting For Madge" instead of the beginning of "Like Crying" by the previous edit. "Oh Well" still contains the repeated minute. The two songs which appeared only on the UK LP are still missing.
"Coming Your Way"
"Closing My Eyes"
"Although the Sun Is Shining"
"Searching for Madge"
"Fighting for Madge"
"When You Say"
"Before the Beginning"
2013 Deluxe Edition Rhino Records CD track listing
This version restores the original British running order and adds as Bonus Tracks, both sides from 2 concurrent singles.
Unreleased Bonus EP: The Milton Schlitz Show
The original intention was to include a bonus EP in the "Then Play On" album. The EP was to be compensation for the fact that Jeremy Spencer barely appeared on the album. The EP consisted of Spencer's parodies of doo wop ("Ricky Dee and the Angels"), Alexis Korner, country blues ("Texas Slim"), acid rock ("The Orange Electric Squares"), and John Mayall. It was finally released on Fleetwood Mac's The Vaudeville Years compilation in the 1990s.