I was just thinking about the many bands I've followed over the years and the records that I've bought without so much as hearing a note beforehand.  For myself,  Neil Young,  Tom Waits,  Lucinda Williams,  John Hiatt Son Volt;  back in the proverbial day Led Zeppelin,  The Stones,  The Who,  etc.  Both examples contain far more but suffice as being representative of my leanings.

Disappointments?  Neil Young's "Trans".  Oy vey.  Tom Waits?  None.  

Surprises and/or refresher courses in talent?  "Terms of My Surrender" - John Hiatt.   Great new release.

Have at it,  peeps!

Ad48f144 948a 4ea4 8271 cbad6ff999fcoblgny
Steely Dan
The Eagles
Fleetwood Mac
Jackson Browne
Neko Case
Beth Hart

To name just a few...

Tift Merritt
Ana Moura
Anouar Brahem
Simone Dinnerstein
Dwight Yoakam
I make reservation on artists that my clients desire before release.
New re-issues or new albums of desired artist sometimes requires reservation on certain number of copies. This way the recording company makes decision on how many copies to press. It often implies that the album is RESERVED to purchase for X number of copies PRIOR to listening to it.

If you're talking about purchasing just for the sake of the artist on the album cover, I don't know how to relate it to RESERVATOIN, but here's my list:

The Can and its musicians perhaps one of few bands that I would just snatch any album with Can musicians presence even as producers only.
Amon Duul
Depeche Mode
Bands and projects with presence of Phillip Johnston
Snarky Puppy -- so far they're so dmn good!
Bill Frisell -- never had been disappointed with any album or any live performance.
King Crimson including all possible current and past members
Talking Heads including all possible current, past and guest members
Lounge Lizards including all musicians solo albums
Frank Zappa and his musicians
The Residents
Mark Nauseef
Carla Bley

Post removed 
This subject was addressed by member "bander" on 9-22-2006.
See: "Which artists' music do you buy without audition".
Merle Haggard.  

Andras Schiff

Richard Goode
Anything with Robin Trower in it

Ryan Adams

Rosanne Cash
Marshall Crenshaw
Neil Diamond
Elvis Presley
Whitney Rose
Bill Staines


Absolutely none and never did. That's the reason why I have so few records and cds, sometimes it's just one or two album by a particular band or musician.
The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Eric Clapton
Tom Petty
Stevie Ray Vaughan

I just discovered Snarky Puppy as well and dig 'em like a shovel.  

I don't buy reissues or "best ofs" as a rule because generally I have all the standard releases anyway. The few "best ofs" that I have are from artists that lie in the margins of my preferences, those who's singles are for me nostalgic or just...something. 

Bill Frisell?  Wow. Another late discovery of mine thanks to *sigh*, iTunes. Heard one record then purchased everything I could. 

Anyone hear of Omer Ivital?  GREAT stuff. 

Keep em coming, folks.  It's great learning stuff from this site. 
I subscribe to streaming services now, so I always stream first.  I rarely buy at all, but CDs or LPs are added on occasion......but only after I've heard them streamed several times.
Rickie Lee Jones is one artist who never disappoints.
Springsteen's work, to my sensibility is always progressing and lyriccally reflective of the times.  
Thomas Dolby is also one who I follow.  
I'm with every artist named by oblgny & hodu, but also agree with martykl. I listen to music on Tidal, but if something is not available, like Lucinda Williams' latest, I buy it.

Also, aside from all the classic rock, Steve Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, The Decemberists.
Steely Dan
Donald Fagen
Peter Murphy

These are some artists I used to buy without reservation:

Van Morrison
Michael Franks

I omit artists(or bands) who no longer are around, like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers(after Duane died), Youngbloods, and King Crimson.

Artists who interest me enough to check out their stuff include Bruce Springsteen, Lindsey Buckingham, Santana(Carlos), and possibly Ricky Lee Jones, Robin Trower, Bruce Cockburn, and Neil Young.  Of course, because some digital affects recordings, that can play a part in my decision.
Oops...damn iPhone autofill - mentioned in a previous post Omer Ivital - it's actually Omer Avital.  I keep listening to this guy, especially a live performance.  
Pink Martini.  The only thing better than their albums is seeing them live.

Joni Mitchell
Kate Bush
Daniel Lanois
Felix Laband
Dead Can Dance
Gotan Project

I’ve avoided artists that no longer release new material , making the list a bit strange.

I’ve purchased every Blue Note reissue available from both Acoustic Sounds and Music Matters.  Obviously Jazz is very important to me, but popular artists release wonderful albums that I enjoy.  I would be totally bored if I could only listen to one kind of music forever, no matter how good.

Catherine Russell and Wesla Whitfield are my two faves right now.  Catherine Russell has pedigree.  Her father was Luis Russell, who was the musical director and piano player for Louis Armstrong.  Her mother, Carline Ray, played with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Catherine Russell did backup work in Motown and Rock bands for years before venturing on a solo career doing 1930's style swing and jazz.  She just kills it.  I buy anything she puts out and catch whenever she gets out to the West Coast.

Wesla Whitfield is a cabaret and jazz singer who tells a story with every song she sings.  I've never heard ANYONE do a better rendition of "Ten Cents a Dance".  Beyond that, her personal story tells you that this is someone who sings from her heart.

Check her out on this youtube:
Anything recorded by Rudy Van Gelder.

Art Pepper
Any records of John Denver.
Got lots of:
Steely Dan
Donald Fagen
Mark Murphy

A few that have been mentioned and a few that haven't....

Joni Mitchell
Rickie Lee Jones
Ryan Adams
Dwight Yoakam
Lucinda Williams
Neko Case
Emmylou Harris
Los Lobos
Tony Bennett
Anything that involves Glenn Hughes
(The Voice of Rock)😎
I don't buy albums anymore unless I am familiar with the music.  I used to with people like Neil Young but got burned a couple of times.  Even old Neil has had a few clunkers, especially later in his career. 
I think Joni Mitchell, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Keith Jarrett have been the most consistent IMO.
Guided by Voices and any other Robert Pollard side project or band.
It's an endless supply of musical goodness, unparalleled by few artists of the past 25 years.   
There is an existing similar thread...

Lucinda Williams
Neko Case
Laura Veirs

If I have to tell you why you should buy these then you don't get it any way! Here are a couple of links for you people that don't know who they are? I have seen Todd over two hundred times and have never wanted my money back! Only missed a couple from the list below in the last 40 years!!!

Todd Rundgren
 Buddy Guy
 Happy 80th Birthday Mr. Buddy Guy ( Born to Play Guitar is his last   release this year! ) Hopefully for many years to come go see Buddy!
 Eric Clapton
 Pink Floyd- Roger Waters or David Gilmore
 Carlos Santana
 The Allman Brothers Band
 Ringo Starr All Star Band
 The Black Keys
 Taj Mahal
 Jefferson Airplane
 Jeff Beck
 Steve Winwood
 The Rolling Stones
I'm still buying music from bands that unfortunately are with us anymore only in Spirit & Soul 
 The Beatles - John Lennon - George Harrison
 Jimi Hendrix
 Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
 Frank Zappa and the Mothers
 Luther Allison
 BB King
 Albert King
 Muddy Waters
Stevie Ray & Buddy Guy - Legends 1989 - Great Audio
Try this one! Any way you look at it!  It's still the Blues!!!
Without reservation? Like sight unseen (unheard)? I don't do that for anybody anymore. Sure, back in the day..  so-in-so has a new album and you would just buy it, on the spot, and hope it's good. Now if I see something interesting I always read reviews on Amazon and/or listen to samples, or do whatever to check it out. Been down that road way too many times when there's some new release and you get all excited, buy it, can't wait to hear it, and there's one or two good songs and the rest is meh or worse. Ok, that said, if I could not vet the purchase in some way, who would I buy straight up, without need of a recommendation:
Jeff Beck
Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Van Morrison
Grateful Dead
Annie Lennox
Bonnie Raitt
Robin Trower
Miles Davis
BB King
With all the resources on the Web there are no artists I can't hear before buying.
One more artist:

Popol Vough
Luka Bloom....seen him live at Park West in Chicago.  Incredible show and talent.  Regards.......

The Decemberists

Luka Bloom's take on LL Cool J's song "I Need Love" is one of my all-time concert favorites.
Red Hot Chili Peppers addition to so many others mentioned as above...
Rosanne Cash
@martykl .....yes, I just listened to that song last night on the Acoustic Motorbike cd.  I have everyone of his.  Been following him since 1992!  Great songwriter and electro acoustic guitar player.  Really hope to see him again someday.  Take care.

Dave Alvin

Doug McLeod

Tom Russell

I forgot to mention Sara K
napalm death

to name a few
None. When I was young, plenty, but not now. 

Great question and subject, oblgny! And as I’ve gotten older, and found the kind of music I like to be a smaller and smaller percentage of that being made, more of a concern. Thank gawd for Amazon and You Tube! I listen to clips of new releases there, as well as at the listening posts in Barnes & Noble stores.

But some new releases by certain artists/acts I don’t have to hear first, the likelihood of me liking them being high enough to justify and warrant an automatic buy. People like Iris Dement, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, John Hiatt, and Marty Stuart. Singers and songwriters in the Americana/Roots/Bluegrass and Hard Country field. There are artists/acts of interest to me in other genres, but their new releases need to be sampled before purchase.

Snarky Puppy
Diana Krall
Tina Brooks
Steady Flow
Norah Jones
Yeah,  back in the day when we used to go to the local record store with friends to buy the newest album from our favorite artists and THEN buy more records of other artists...

I too, now utilize itunes,  cdbaby,  and amazon etc to check out new releases and/or genres that I'm curious about,  but the aforementioned artists remain the ones I simply take the plunge with on their new stuff sound unheard.  Utilizing the services I mentioned leaves me with an antiseptic feeling in the end,  although it is far easier to do so "in the comfort of your home."


R.I.P. Leonard Cohen.