Like fellow veteran heartthrob Tom Jones, Sheffield's Joe Cocker has always been known as an interpreter of other people's material rather than an artist in his own right. On a purely technical level, however, his wall-shaking voice is as robust as ever, and this new album of covers is his most self-assured offering for some time. Much of the credit must go to musical director John Shanks, who comes up with a well-judged selection of songs such as INXS's 'Never Tear Us Apart' and Tom Snow's 'Love Not War' which are perfectly suited to Cocker's overtly masculine presence. For a man who first topped the charts in 1968, he belts them all out with remarkable energy and commitment, creating a goodtime bar-room atmosphere in the process. In the final analysis Respect Yourself may be no more than glorified karaoke, but for sheer gutsiness it's hard not to give the old charmer the benefit of the doubt.