George Michael, Ricky Martin and Rod Stewart lead Feb. 1 new album releases

If we thought this week, in which the “Grammy Nominations CD” is likely to be the top seller on the Billboard 200 with less than 40,000 copies sold, looked bleak, just wait until next week. The Feb. 1 release slate has some tasty elements, but the only mainstream titles are George Michael”s reissue of “Faith,” Rod Stewart”s “The Best of…The Great American Songbook,” and Ricky Martin”s English/Spanish hybrid, “Musica + Almo + Sexo.” They should handily conquer the top 3 spots next week, but we predict that none of the other new releases for this week debut anywhere near the Top 10.

[More after the jump…]

The Civil Wars, “Barton Hollow” (Sensibility Music): Co-ed folk country duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White releases its first full-length album, chock full of lovely harmonies, acoustic instrumentation and love songs with a gentle twist of two.

Bobby Long, “A Winter”s Tale” (ATO): British singer/songwriter and friend of Robert Pattinson has already had a song on the “Twilight” soundtrack. This set, on Dave Matthews” label, was produced by Liam Watson, best known for his work with the White Stripes. Read our review of Long”s show at the ASCAP Cafe at Sundance here.

David Lowery, “The Palace Guards” (429): Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven  frontman releases, incredibly, his first solo album. Spin gave it a rousing 8 out of 10 stars and says he strikes the perfect balance between CVB”s “loose eclectic twang” and Cracker”s “tight psych-country.”

Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Live Forever: September 23, 1980. The Stanley Theater, Pittsburgh, Pa.” (Tuff Gong):  Not only is this the last recorded concert by the reggae master, it was his last concert ever. He died the following May. The set captures such now classics as “Redemption Song,” “Could You Be Loved,” “No Woman, No Cry,” and, of course, “Get Up, Stand Up.”

Ricky Martin, “Musica + Alma + Sexo” (Sony Music Latin):  Martin”s first set since becoming a dad and coming out, covers terrain in both English and Spanish, including first single, “The Best Thing About  Me Is You,” featuring Joss Stone.  Other guests include reggaeton duo, Wisin & Yandel, whose new set will likely come in at No. 3 this week.

George Michael, “Faith: Legacy Edition” (Columbia): The 2-CD reissue of Michael”s mega-platinum 1987 bestseller includes some bonus material. A Special Edition, also includes a DVD.

Rod Stewart, “The Best of… The Great American Songbook” (J): Just in time for Valentine”s Day, a greatest hit collection culled from Stewart”s five previous Great American Songbook editions comes your way. The best -of includes one new recording, “You”ll Never Know.”