Sail on Sailor – The Beach Boys – 1973

From an album that was almost never released, comes The Beach Boys’ 1973 song, Sail on Sailor.

Beach boys 1who doesn’t like the beach boys?

Come on! Everyone likes The Beach Boys, don’t they? They’re one of those groups that, even if you don’t cotton onto their particular musical style, you gotta appreciate their musicianship and what they have contributed to music.


Several years ago, I bought an album by The Beach Boys named, Holland. I thought it was great. I played it over and over only to later discover that it was panned by critics and almost didn’t get released! So much for my tastes in music!

Holland was the band’s 19th album. It was recorded in The Netherlands. It seems the band’s manager, Jack Rieley, thought a change of scenery would bring fresh inspiration and maybe even pull Brian Wilson out of his depression – it didn’t!

Turns out everyone became real homesick. They wrote and laid down the tracks as quickly as they could and headed home.


Warner Bros weren’t impressed. The album was rejected for not having any potential hit-singles.  In response, the band dropped the weakest song—We Got Love—and pulled out an old song, Sail on Sailor. They got Blondie Chaplin to take on the lead vocals and the single was born.

sail on sailor fax

  • Sail on Sailor was the first track on the Beach Boys’ 19th album, Holland. It was the last track to be recorded.
  • It was released as a single in 1973, with Only With You on the flip side.
  • Sail on Sailor initially peaked at #79 on the singles charts. When re-released in 1975 it made it to #49.
  • The lead vocals on Sail on Sailor feature Blondie Chaplin.
  • Sail on Sailor has been covered by: Sting and Lulu, Golden Earring, Rick Danko and Paul Butterfield, Jimmy Buffett, Mark Ronson and Sean Lennon, and Ray Charles.
  • Sail on Sailor featured in the Martin Scorsese movie, The Departed,
  • Sail on Sailor lyrics.

sail on sailor – the beach boys – 1973 – video

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