Uncut magazine asked Webb how this song fits into his canon. The songwriter replied: "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress was a song that became a standard without ever becoming a hit and was symbiotic of that decade of my life, my struggle, my failure, my angst, my pride and even scorn... and ultimately my crash - literally, as it turns out. I flew my Schweizer 2-32 flat into the side of Mt. Baden Powell with my buddy Henry Diltz in the rear cockpit snapping photos. How could I keep pounding my head into this wall? Every time I thought it would kill me! I remember crying tears because Gus Dudgeon wouldn't agree to produce a record for me. Gus who? And yet there is 'The Moon' recorded by Judy Collins, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt, Shawn Colvin, Pat Metheny, Glen Campbell. A list of people who got it. I began to rationalize my albums as expensive demos. Why not?"