The Return of the Los Palmas 7

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"The Return of the Los Palmas 7"
Return Of The Los Palmas 7.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album Absolutely
B-side "That's the Way to Do It"
"Swan Lake"
Released 16 January 1981 (1981-01-16)
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1980
Genre 2-tone, Ska, pop
Length 2:33 (single version); 2.03 (album version)
Label Stiff
Writer(s) Music: Mike Barson, Daniel Woodgate and Mark Bedford
Producer(s) Clive Langer,
Alan Winstanley
Madness singles chronology
"The Return of the Los Palmas 7"
"Grey Day"
Absolutely track listing
Side one
  1. "Baggy Trousers"
  2. "Embarrassment"
  3. "E.R.N.I.E."
  4. "Close Escape"
  5. "Not Home Today"
  6. "On the Beat Pete"
  7. "Solid Gone"
Side two
  1. "Take It or Leave It"
  2. "Shadow of Fear"
  3. "Disappear"
  4. "Overdone"
  5. "In the Rain"
  6. "You Said"
  7. "The Return of the Los Palmas 7"
Divine Madness track listing
"The Return of the Los Palmas 7"
"Grey Day"

"The Return of the Los Palmas 7" is a song by British ska/pop band Madness, written by Mike Barson, Mark Bedford and Daniel Woodgate.[1] The song was Woodgate's first credit as a songwriter, and was released as the band's 7th single on 16 January 1981 (1981-01-16).[2] The single reached number 7 in the UK, and remained in the charts for 7 weeks.[2] The single release was slightly different from the track on the album Absolutely, and was roughly 30 seconds longer.

The song is mainly instrumental, except for some ad-libbing by Chas Smash at the beginning, the sound of "Waiter!" approximately 42 seconds into the track, and "Good night!" at the very end. Dave Robinson, head of Stiff Records, was keen on Madness recording another instrumental track, especially after the success of "One Step Beyond...".[2] The resulting song was not as ska influenced as their earlier songs, and was played heavily on BBC Radio 2.[2] This helped Madness gain a new generation of older fans.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the single was filmed in January, 1981 at the Venus Cafe, west London and Kenwood Park, North London.[2]

The video mainly features the band in the cafe, switching between a greasy spoon scene, and an elegant restaurant scene. Around the half-way mark of the video, the band are also shown dressed as cowboys in Kenwood Park. These three scenarios are interspersed between random clips. It is these clips of random events or people which make up the bulk of the video. The video was only filmed two weeks prior to the release of the single, which may explain why so much of the video is random footage, as opposed to footage of the band. Some of these clips are also in the video for the Bob Marley song "One Love" which also happens to include a guest appearance by Suggs and Chas Smash.

The song is incorrectly titled "Return to the Los Palmas 7" in the credit block, appearing both at the head and tail of the video.

The clips which are interspersed throughout the video are chronologically summarised below, as well as giving the approximate time the clip makes an appearance.

Clips used[edit]

Time Video clip[3]
00:29 Apollo rocket taking off
00:32 Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
00:34 Failed car stunt.
00:44 Football crowd holding up scarves.
00:46 Björn Borg serving during a Wimbledon tennis match.
00:47 Paraglider is towed by a boat on a river.
00:48 Skier coming to a halt.
00:49 A fence is jumped at the Grand National.
01:01 Ten Shilling note is shown, then removed to show a 50 pence piece.
01:03 Black-and-white footage of a swingometer.
01:04 TIE fighter from Star Wars.
01:05 Ballroom dancers.
01:06 Man holding a rabbit.
01:07 Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise show their OBEs.
01:08 Harold Wilson waves outside 10 Downing Street.
01:09 Man dives into pool.
01:15 Poster of the movie Law and Order, with Ronald Reagan.
01:22 Scottish football fans.
01:23 West Ham United players celebrating.
01:25 Cricketers playing.
01:26 Out-take from the "My Girl" video: Suggs watches the "One Step Beyond" video, and grins.
01:27 Large crowd.
01:28 British Royal family appear at a balcony.
01:28 Charlie Chaplin kisses a wife Oona on the cheek
01:29 Skateboarder performing.
01:51 Footballer Bobby Moore playing for Fulham FC.
01:52 Car rolls over.
01:52 Garry Sobers and Ray Illingworth chat.
01:53 Concorde flies overhead.
01:53 Very brief image of Mick Jagger.
01:54 Margaret Thatcher waves outside 10 Downing Street.
01:54 Two Soyuz Cosmonauts.
01:54 Bird's-eye view of Spaghetti Junction
01:55 Arsenal F.C. player Frank McLintock collects the FA Cup.
01:55 Brief clip of Bianca Jagger.
01:56 U.S. President Richard Nixon being sworn in
01:56 Boeing 747 on runway.
01:57 Very brief shot of the legs of a woman sitting down.
01:57 John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a press conference
01:58 LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman on a crane.
01:58 Georges Pompidou
01:58 Ted Heath being applauded.
01:59 Liverpool F.C. fans.
01:59 A gorilla.
02:00 Crowd holding Union Flags.
02:00 Horse clears a fence.
02:00 Brief shot from the "Embarrassment" video, also by Madness.
02:00 Very brief shot of a woman.
02:01 Mervyn Day takes a goal kick for West Ham United in the 1975 FA Cup Final against Fulham F.C
02:02 Jeremy Thorpe with election rosette.
02:02 Henry A. Kissinger and Le Duc Tho at Paris Peace Accords.
02:03 Woman smashes champagne bottle against a ship.
02:03 Three soldiers walking.
02:03 President Jimmy Carter shakes hands with PM James Callaghan.
02:03 Peter Sellers approaches microphone.
02:03 Jane Fonda in Vietnam.
02:04 Two female hockey players about to start a match.
02:04 Han Solo from Star Wars fires a weapon.
02:05 Björn Borg proudly displays up Wimbledon trophy.
02:05 Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
02:06 Grand National trophy.
02:06 Dog competition.
02:07 Premium Bond machine "E.R.N.I.E". which was the subject of the Madness song of the same name.
02:08 Tabloid headline saying "Wilson Resigns"
02:08 Harrier jet flies through the air.
02:08 A football goal is scored.
02:09 Female spinning a baton.
02:10 A car drives into a tree.
02:10 Astronauts (or cosmonauts) walking.
02:10 Man's hands holding a bent spoon.
02:11 Football fan holding a piece of Wembley Stadium turf.
02:11 The Princess Anne and Mark Phillips getting married.
02:12 Chas Smash from the "My Girl" music video.


In addition to its single release and appearance on the album Absolutely, "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" also appears on the Madness collections Divine Madness (a.k.a. The Heavy Heavy Hits), Complete Madness, It's... Madness Too, The Business, Our House and Ultimate Collection.

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "The Return of the Los Palmas 7".

7" vinyl single[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" Mike Barson, Daniel Woodgate, Mark Bedford 2:33
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "That's the Way to Do It" Chris Foreman 2:51

12" vinyl single[edit]

Included with the 12" single was a copy of the first edition of "The Nutty Boys" comic. The demo version of "My Girl" is notable for being the first officially released Madness track to feature a lead vocal by Mike Barson; it would take another 28 years before a second Barson vocal track was released on the "Sugar and Spice" download single.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Return of the Los Palmas 7" Barson, Woodgate, Bedford 2:33
2. "My Girl" (Demo) Barson 2:27
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "That's the Way to Do It" Foreman 2:51
2. "Swan Lake" (Live) Tchaikovsky, arranged by Barson 2:34

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart[4] 7 11


  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris."allmusic Absolutely Overview". Retrieved 7 July 2007 (2007-07-07).  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Madness Timeline: 1981". Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  3. ^ Eddy, Geoff. "The Return of the Los Palmas 7 video summary". Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  4. ^ Madness at Official Charts Company Retrieved 21 June 2013

External links[edit]