Often the most poignant, far-reaching songs come out of moments of grief and pain. Never could this be more true than with Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.” With Clapton’s recent announcement that he would retire at age 70 and the news of his upcoming new studio record, it seemed a good time to pull this one from the vault, as it were.
Clapton, the only artist thus far to be inducted three different times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was already a guitar rock icon when he released this song in 1992, first as part of the soundtrack he wrote for the film Rush, then included on his famed Unplugged recording. Co-written with Will Jennings, the song was written as an expression of grief over the loss of Clapton’s four-year-old son Conor, who fell from a window in a friend’s high-rise apartment in 1991. The song went on to win three Grammy Awards.
His grief duly processed, Clapton stopped performing “Tears In Heaven” in 2004. However, it remains to this day as one of his most successful and best remembered songs.