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."
No Reason to Cry is one of Clapton's most successful international albums from the 1970s. The release reached the Top 30 in seven national music album charts, reaching the Top 10 in United Kingdom (peaking at number eight) and in the Netherlands, where the studio release ranked on position nine. The album was certified with a platinum in the United Kingdom. In Norway and the United States, No Reason to Cry charted at #13 and #15. In New Zealand and Sweden, the 1976 album positioned itself on number 18 and 24.
For his review, AllMusic critic William Ruhlmann awarded the release 3.5 of five possible stars, commentating: "No Reason to Cry is identifiable as the kind of pop/rock Clapton had been making since the start of his solo career", adding "the most memorable music on the album occurs when Clapton is collaborating with members of the Band and other guests". Finishing his review, Ruhlmann called the release "a good purchase for fans of Bob Dylan and the Band, but not necessarily for those of Eric Clapton".Rolling Stone journalist Dave Marsh finds, the album recordings are "much more mélange than masterpiece". He did not rate the album. Robert Christgau rated the album with a "B-" and calls the album "a well-made, rather likable rock and roll LP", noting the "singing is eloquent and the instrumental signature an almost irresistible pleasure".