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." 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."
The cover of the album depicts (upside down) a tugboat in the Kromme Waal, a canal in central Amsterdam.
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.
It was voted number 648 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).
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." 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?"
In later years, Elvis Costello ranked the album as one of his favorite records of all time.Camper Van Beethoven have said that when recording their album La Costa Perdida, Holland was an enormous inspiration to them.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."
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]