With Brian unreliable and out of the loop, it devolved for Carl Wilson to take the helm of leading the Beach Boys in the studio. New members Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar added a slightly harder edge to the group sound.
For Holland, the entire band decamped across the ocean with family and friends and a custom-built recording studio in hopes of regenerating their creativity and Brian Wilson’s involvement. Ironically, the beyond-the-sea perspective afforded them the look-back of “California Saga,” where Mike Love and Al Jardin crafted a tripartite valentine to their home state; and Brian’s “fairy tale” trip to the intersection of “Mt. Vernon and Fairway” (where the Love family had resided), a bizarre narrative concoction whose out-of-placeness (not to mention spaceness) resulted in it being included with the album as a bonus EP. Thankfully, Warners insisted on a recognizable hit single, and “Sail on Sailor” was added to Holland when the group returned home, becoming one of their most beloved songs.