This album is a curio. It sounds good, the production seeming a couple of notches ahead of the previous album 'It's Only Rock N Roll' (1974). But compared to that album it is song for song no worse and no better. It is not a great Stones record. 'Some Girls' (1978), the next one was...in my opinion, almost capturing the magic of 'Exile On Main Street' (1972).
So here is a band in a state of flux, trying to come to terms with the departure of Mick Taylor. A brave effort with a few highlights, but lacking that conviction and dare I say it arrogance, which defines their best work. But there are redeeming features for sure: Hot Stuff is a decent stab at disco which is pretty compelling. Fool To Cry is sentimental but quite moving really. Hand Of Fate is a standard Stones rocker but not bad at all. The rest of the tracks are interesting but as songs not exactly up there in the etchelons. Hey Negrita is a particularly lightweight reggae number, and Melody is an intersting mood piece heavily featuring Billy Preston but is pretty boring if we're honest. Cherry Oh Baby is a bit of a joke. Isn't it?
I quite like this album but cannot bring myself to give it four stars. Sorry. Good cover though!