“A great deal of effort was put into ‘Blue Afternoon’”
The album’s two songs – Happy Time and Chase The Blues Away – had come close to appearing on the Happy Sad, which had come out seven months before. Buckley was keen to complete theses two songs with what was essentially the same core group of musicians from that April record: himself (vocals, 12-string guitar), Lee Underwood (guitar, piano), John Miller (acoustic and electric bass) and David Friedman (vibraphone).
Friedman, who had worked with jazz pianist Horace Silver, was not the only musician to provide a languid, jazzy feel to some of the songs on Blue Afternoon, which was recorded in California. Steve Khan, who played guitar on Happy Time and the Side Two opener, So Lonely, was a Wes Montgomery devotee who went on to play with Michael and Randy Brecker. Buckley said that So Lonely, a lament about isolation, was written for the celebrated German actress Marlene Dietrich.