The album originally started out as a solo record, but when Young played it for Reprise executives they asked him if he would consider adding rhythm tracks to what he already had. Young agreed, and the end product was Comes a Time. Two songs ("Look Out For My Love" and "Lotta Love") were backed by Crazy Horse.
"Human Highway" was written several years prior to the album's release, and originally presented to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1974 for a proposed studio album by the group which never came to be. Much of the album features harmony vocals from Nicolette Larson. She also shares lead vocals with Young on "Motorcycle Mama".
For many years it was rumoured that Young had personally purchased some 200,000 vinyl copies of Comes a Time having been unhappy with the album's sound, owing to damage that occurred to the master tape during shipment to the mixing facility. The version of the album most widely available today was personally remixed by Young from the safety copy of the original master. In a March 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Young claimed that he, in fact, used the 200,000 LPs as shingles for a barn roof.
Bucky Barrett, Grant Boatwright, Johnny Christopher, Jerry Shook, Vic Jordan, Steve Gibson, Dale Sellers, Ray Edenton – acoustic guitars
Shelly Kurland, Stephanie Woolf, Marvin Chantry, Roy Christensen, Gary Vanosdale, Carl Gorodetzky, George Binkley, Steven Smith, Larry Harvin, Larry Lasson, Carol Walker, Rebecca Lynch, Virginia Christensen, Maryanna Harvin, George Kosmola, Martha McCrory, Chuck Cochran – strings
Ben Keith – production (except on tracks 3, 4 and 8)
Tim Mulligan – production (except on track 7)
David Briggs – production (on tracks 3 and 4)
Tim Mulligan, Michael Laskow, David McKinley, Danny Hilley, Mike Porter, Denny Purcell, Rich "Hoss" Adler, Ernie Winfrey, Gabby Garcia, Paul Kaminsky – engineering