As I draft this, I am listening to an album I have not heard in probably two decades, but it is still stunningly familiar.
I bought an audio cassette of Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1984. I was a poor college student, and I had never heard of the album, but there it was in a bargain bin and with two of my favorite artists, it seemed like a good gamble.
The album absolutely blew me away. I listened to the cassette so often that it became great studying music for me. The lyrics and tunes were so in my head that I could let it wash over me as I worked and it wouldn't get in the way. It just helped me get into my studying groove.
It wasn't until B-Sizzle told me that several modern artists have mentioned the album as an influence on their work that I realized Bush of Ghosts was not a completely obscure album known only to me. The Wikipedia page indicates that the album gets rave reviews from just about everybody (Robert Christgau must be a whack job). Anyway, check it out sometime.