Holland is the nineteenth studio album by The Beach Boys, released in 1973. It is their second and final studio album to feature Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar. At the end of 1973, Chaplin quit the band after a fight with band manager Steve Love (Brother of Mike). Fataar left the following year, after Dennis Wilson regained the use of his hands to play drums. Fataar would go on to be a part of the comedy band The Rutles, as well as making the occasional guest drumming appearance on later Beach Boys albums. It is also their last with the involvement of manager Jack Rieley. He was manager of this band since shortly after Sunflower's release, and made a major impact on the band and its direction. But he mutually parted with The Beach Boys shortly after the release of this album.
As the title suggests, the album was recorded mainly in the Netherlands. As with the previous album Carl and the Passions "So Tough", Brian Wilson made very few contributions to this album. However, he would create a bonus EP for this album called Mount Vernon And Fairway (A Fairy Tale), narrated mainly by Jack Rieley. Dennis Wilson had no lead vocals on this album (Except co-lead vocals on "Steamboat"), but his songs "Steamboat" and "Only With You" were included. "We Got Love" was originally supposed to be on this album, but was cut at the last minute in favour of "Sail On, Sailor". Early German pressings of this album mistakenly included "We Got Love", though it did not see official release until a 2016 reissue. A live version of the song saw release on "The Beach Boys In Concert" in 1974, however.
Upon release, this album was greeted with very positive reviews, and was one of the Rolling Stone magazine's picks for the Album Of The Year. Elvis Costello has cited this album as one of his favourites of all-time in a list published by Vanity Fair in 2000 of his 500 favourite albums of all time', where he called "The Trader" his favourite song on the record. Hits and fan favourites include "Sail On, Sailor", "California Saga: California", "The Trader" and "Only With You".
- "Sail On, Sailor" (3:19)
- "Steamboat" (4:33)
- "California Saga: Big Sur" (2:56)
- "California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles" (3:49)
- "California Saga: California" (3:21)
- "The Trader" (5:04)
- "Leaving This Town" (5:49)
- "Only With You" (2:59)
- "Funky Pretty" (4:09)
Bonus EP (Mount Vernon And Fairway (A Fairy Tale)):
- "Mt. Vernon And Fairway - Theme" (1:54)
- "I'm The Pied Piper - Instrumental" (2:20)
- "Better Get Back in Bed" (1:39)
- "Magic Transistor Radio" (1:43)
- "I'm The Pied Piper" (2:09)
- "Radio King Dom" (2:38)
- Blondie Chaplin - lead vocals, bass
- Ricky Fataar - drums, percussion, backing and co-lead vocals
- Al Jardine - guitar, backing and co-lead vocals, banjo
- Mike Love - backing and lead vocals
- Brian Wilson - piano, backing and co-lead vocals, synthesizer, drums
- Carl Wilson - lead vocals, guitar, keyboard, piano
- Dennis Wilson - piano, backing and co-lead vocals
Troping This Town:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "California Saga: Big Sur"Sparklin' springs from the mountainside
- Alliterative Title: "Sail On, Sailor".
- Artistic License Geography: The band recorded this album in the Netherlands, hence the name. Despite this, they still used the word "Holland" to refer to the country, instead of the official name The Netherlands. Probably to avoid a Long Title and since most people, even Dutchmen, refer to the country that way (it was pretty much the norm in the 70s).
- Cover Version: "California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles" is essentially a Robinson Jeffers poem ("Beaks of Eagles") set to music.
- Educational Song: "California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles" warns humans it's In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, but that there is hope too:It is good for manTo try all changes, progress and corruption, powers, peace and anguish,Not to go down the dinosaur's wayUntil all his capacities have been explored: and it is good for himTo know that his needs and nature are no more changed, in fact, in tenThousand years than the beaks of eagles.Of the eagle's plight, we know that nature's balance is undone.And it's the birthright of man to unify and live his life as one.A whisper of the word will let you soar with your soul.
- Gay Paree: "Funky Pretty"The cream of gay Parisee, funky pretty
- In Harmony with Nature: "California Saga: Big Sur"Cashmere hills filled with evergreensFlowin' from the clouds down to meet the seaWith the granite cliff as a refereeCrimson sunsets and golden dawnsMother deer with their newborn fawnsUnder Big Sur skies and that's where I belong.
- Instrumental: The majority of "Mount Vernon And Fairway (A Fairy Tale)", if you discount Jack Rieley's narration on much of it.
- List Song: "Funky Pretty", where a girl is bestowed with various honorific titles:And if you're cosmically conscious you'll seeWhy she's a princess incarnate to meDaughter of Neptune the ruler of the seaThe queen in Copenhagee (Funky pretty)The dream of Amsterdamee (Pretty funky)The cream of gay Parisee (Funky pretty)The theme of U Say Asee (Pretty funky)The scene in Great Britainyee (Funky pretty)The meaning in Los Angees (Pretty funky)The heat in Tokyosee (Funky pretty)The treat in Manhattohsee (Pretty funky)Yeah yeah funky pretty
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Steamboat", where the tranquillity of a river is described and the only action happens near the end when one Mr. Fulton is informed that they will get his steamboat rollin'.
- New Sound Album: The most progressive rock The Beach Boys ever got.
- One-Word Title: "Holland", "Steamboat".
- Rearrange the Song: "California Saga: California" was rerecorded for its US single release a few months later. The UK single, however, predates it and so features the Holland version of the song.
And Lenin has lived and Jehovah died: while the mother-eagleHunts her same hills, crying the same beautiful and lonely cry
- "California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles"
Have you ever been down Salinas way?Where Steinbeck found the valleyAnd he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin's with Charley
- Country Joe (from Country Joe And The Fish) gets a mention on "California Saga: California". Author John Steinbeck is also name-dropped:
- Step Up to the Microphone: Jack Rieley is the narrator for Mount Vernon And Fairway (A Fairy Tale).
- Also, Carl Wilson`s then-three year old son Jonah says "Hi!" at the beginning of "The Trader".
- Special Guest: Then-former Beach Boy Bruce Johnston sings backing vocals on "California Saga: California".
- The Bus Came Back: It took until 2016 - 43 years after intended release - for "We Got Love" to make an official appearance on the album, when it appeared on an audiophile remaster. The song was surprisingly overlooked for the group's two box sets "Good Vibrations" and "Made In California" and an earlier compilation "Ten Years Of Harmony", so was much appreciated by fans.
- Time Marches On: "California Saga: The Beaks of Eagles" has the band refer the year '85, which refers to 1885.The she-eagle is older than I: she was here when the fires of eighty-fiveRaged on these ridges,She was lately fledged and dared not hunt ahead of them, but ate scorched meatThe world has changed in her time; humanity has multiplied,