Holland (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 8, 1973 (1973-01-08)
RecordedJune 3–October 9, 1972
ProducerThe Beach Boys
The Beach Boys chronology
Carl and the Passions – "So Tough"
The Beach Boys in Concert
Singles from Holland
  1. "Sail On, Sailor" / "Only with You"
    Released: February 5, 1973
  2. "California Saga: California" / "Funky Pretty"
    Released: April 16, 1973
Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)
EP by
ReleasedJanuary 8, 1973 (1973-01-08)
RecordedSeptember 1972 (1972-09)
GenreFairy tale
ProducerThe Beach Boys

Holland is the 19th studio album by the American rock group the Beach Boys, released on January 8, 1973. Self-produced by the band, the album peaked at number 36 in the US and number 20 in the UK, the album is the second of two studio recordings to feature Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar, who joined the band the previous year to record Carl and the Passions – "So Tough". It is also the third and final studio album created under the management of Jack Rieley.


Former Beach Boy Bruce Johnston suggested that the group record their new album in France, "but somehow it ended up being recorded in Holland. I had to secretly come down and do vocals. ... even though I was out of the band, I still sang on albums."[2] To record the album, the band members and their families moved to Baambrugge, in the Netherlands, Vocalist and guitarist Al Jardine later commented: "It was rough being in Holland. We were working 24/7 in a small homemade rebuilt piecemeal little studio in a garage next to a cow pasture. Yeah, it was rough. We didn’t even have the correct electricity [...] so that kind of affected the sound of our equipment. It was a mixed blessing."[3]

Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)[edit]

Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale) is a 12-minute musical fairy tale that was included as an EP with Holland. It was primarily composed by Brian Wilson and narrated by manager Jack Rieley, with Wilson providing the voice of the Pied Piper. (An instrumental version of Mount Vernon and Fairway without narration appeared on the 1993 boxed set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys.)

Wilson has said that he listened to Randy Newman's 1972 album Sail Away "over and over" while physically writing down the lyrics that became the Mount Vernon and Fairway suite.[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[5]
Blender2/5 stars[6]
Robert ChristgauC[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[11]

Writing in Rolling Stone, critic Jim Miller called Holland a 'special album' and said: "Like the finest Beach Boys' work, Holland makes me consistently smile, as much at its occasionally unnerving simplicity of viewpoint as at its frequently ornate perfection. Although the Beach Boys may be an acquired taste, once the listener has granted them their stylistic predilections, their best records become irresistible."[12] Critic Robert Christgau praised the sound quality of Holland, but believed that the album had strayed too far from what the Beach Boys did best, he said: "I suppose that in time their tongue-tied travelogue of Big Sur may seem no more escapist than 'Fun Fun Fun', but who'll ever believe it's equally simple, direct, or innocent?"[7]

In later years, Elvis Costello ranked the album as one of his favorite records of all time.[13] Camper Van Beethoven have said that when recording their album La Costa Perdida, Holland was an enormous inspiration to them.[14] Tom Petty was also a fan of Holland and penned liner notes for the 2000 CD reissue, in which he described the album as 'beautiful' and said of Carl Wilson's track "The Trader": 'Carl's vocal on The Trader is, well, something of a miracle. The Trader may be the best piece of work ever by a man who did many, many great vocals, the song is the centerpiece to Holland and all these years later still leaves me with my mouth hung open when I hear it."[15]

In his 2016 autobiography, Brian Wilson said of Holland: 'There are some great songs on that record. 'Steamboat' kicks ass. I really like 'Only with You' and 'Funky Pretty', too. It's a damned good album no matter where or how we made it'.[full citation needed]


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
The Guardian United Kingdom Top 100 Albums That Don't Appear in All the Other Top 100 Albums of All Time[16] 1999 21
OOR Magazine Netherlands 100 Best Albums of All Time[17] 2007 100
Vanity Fair United States 500 Albums You Need[13] 2000 *

(*) denotes an unordered list

Track listing[edit]

Holland, side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocal(s)Length
1."Sail On, Sailor"Blondie Chaplin3:20
2."Steamboat"Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson4:33
3."California Saga: Big Sur"Mike LoveMike Love2:56
4."California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles"Love and Al Jardine3:49
5."California Saga: California"A. JardineLove (intro: Brian Wilson)3:21
Holland, side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocal(s)Length
1."The Trader"
  • C. Wilson
  • Rieley
C. Wilson5:04
2."Leaving This Town"Ricky Fataar and Chaplin5:49
3."Only with You"
  • D. Wilson
  • Love
C. Wilson2:59
4."Funky Pretty"
  • B. Wilson
  • Love
  • Rieley
C. Wilson, Jardine, Chaplin, Fataar, and Love4:09

All narration by Jack Rieley, except "Magic Transistor Radio", narrated by Brian Wilson.

Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale), side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Mt. Vernon and Fairway – Theme"B. Wilson 1:34
2."I'm the Pied Piper – Instrumental"
  • B. Wilson
  • C. Wilson
3."Better Get Back in Bed"B. WilsonC. Wilson1:39
4."Magic Transistor Radio"B. WilsonBrian Wilson1:43
Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale), side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."I'm the Pied Piper"
  • B. Wilson
  • C. Wilson
B. Wilson2:09
2."Radio King Dom"
  • B. Wilson
  • Rieley
2015 Remastered iTunes bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocal(s)Length
1."We Got Love"Fataar/Chaplin/LoveChaplin5:56


Partial credits from Beach Boys archivist Craig Slowinski.[18][19][20][21]

The Beach Boys
Additional musicians
  • Daryl Dragon – Moog bass except "California Saga: California" and "The Trader"
  • Bruce Johnston – backing vocals on “California Saga: California”
  • Tony Martin, Jr. - steel guitar on "Sail On, Sailor" and "Steamboat"
  • Charles Lloyd – flute on "California Saga"
  • Marilyn Wilson, Diane Rovell — backing vocals on "Steamboat"


Year Chart Position
1973 Canadian Album Chart 12[22]
1973 Dutch Album Chart 9[23]
1973 UK Top 40 Album Chart 20
1973 US Billboard 200 Albums Chart 36[24]
UK Singles
Year Single Chart Position
1973 "California Saga (On My Way to Sunny Californ-i-a)" UK Top 40 Single Chart 37
US Singles
Year Single Chart Position
1973 "Sail On, Sailor" US Billboard Singles Chart 79[not in citation given]
1975 "California Saga (On My Way to Sunny Californ-i-a)" US Billboard Singles Chart 84[not in citation given]
1975 "Sail On, Sailor" US Billboard Singles Chart 49[not in citation given]
1975 "Sail On, Sailor" Boston WMEX Singles Chart 1[not in citation given]

Chart information courtesy of Allmusic and other music databases.[25][not in citation given]


  1. ^ Partridge, Kenneth (June 5, 2015). "Why a Comprehensive Beach Boys Biopic Would Likely Fail". Consequence of Sound.
  2. ^ Sharp, Ken (September 4, 2013). "Bruce Johnston On the Beach Boys' Enduring Legacy (Interview)". Rock Cellar Magazine.
  3. ^ "Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love Interview Part 3". Rock Cellar. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ YouTube video: Brian Wilson 1976 Full Interview; 1976 interview with Bob Harris.
  5. ^ Bush, John. "Holland - The Beach Boys : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  6. ^ Wolk, Douglas (October 2004). "The Beach Boys Carl and the Passions: So Tough/Holland". Blender. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Beach Boys". Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4.
  9. ^ Eccleston, Danny (2008-08-28). "The Beach Boys - Disc of the day - Mojo". Mojo4music.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved 2/11/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 84. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  11. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 46. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Miller, Jim (March 1, 1973). "Holland | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone". Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Costello, Elvis (November 2000). "500 Albums You Need". Vanity Fair, issue no. 483.
  14. ^ "Camper Van Beethoven, 'Northern California Girls': Exclusive Song Premiere". billboard.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  15. ^ McCaughey, Scott (2000). Carl and the Passions – "So Tough" / Holland (CD Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records.
  16. ^ [Top 100 Albums That Don't Appear in All the Other Top 100 Albums of All Time, The Guardian, January 29, 1999]
  17. ^ "100 Best Albums of All Time". Muziekkrant OOR. 17 July 2007.
  18. ^ http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,25479.msg620355.html#msg620355
  19. ^ http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,5673.msg90874.html#msg90874
  20. ^ http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,2255.
  21. ^ http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,5291.
  22. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.4828&type=1&interval=20&PHPSESSID=fcs5b5kmf511c6ombo6ki2alv3
  23. ^ Dutch Charts - THE BEACH BOYS - HOLLAND
  24. ^ Billboard, March 24, 1973, page 67
  25. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit. Archived from the original on 2007-07-18.