“Tears In Heaven” was written by Eric Clapton following the death of his son, Conor, in 1991 as a way to work through his grief. He initially recorded a studio version for the soundtrack of the film, Rush. The song's first public performance was on 16 January 1992 during filming for Eric Clapton’s episode of the MTV show, Unplugged. In the months following the broadcast of the show, “Tears In Heaven” became a monster hit as millions of people around the world connected with the feelings it expressed.
In February 1992, Eric Clapton received 3 Grammy Awards for the song. They were Record Of The Year (presented to Eric Clapton and Russ Titelman, producers), Song Of The Year (presented to Eric Clapton and Will Jennings, composers) and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (presented to Eric Clapton).
Eric has said, “My question was ‘Will I see you again?’ In a sense, it wasn't even a sad song. It was a song of belief. When it talks about there will be no more tears in heaven, I think its a song of optimism, of reunion. What was worrying me was I hope to God we didn’t meet up in some kind of heaven hotel lobby and just walk by one another.” (From the 5 April 1998 Australian 60 Minutes interview).
Clapton also said that “The timing was perfect, because they needed a song about loss and I had plenty of them. ‘Tears’ was actually in a very embryonic stage when I was approached and I completed it for Rush. I needed the film to finish it, because otherwise, I probably would have let it go. It was also a good opportunity for me to write about the loss of my son and have somewhere to put it, to channel it, because it didn’t look like I was going into the studio in the near future. I really wanted to be able to say something about what happened to me and the opportunity that this movie presented me was excellent, because it meant that I could write this song and express my feelings and have it come out quickly. After the song was done, I thought that it would be nice to put it out as a single as well.” (From June 1993 Guitar World).
“Tears In Heaven” is on the soundtrack for the film Rush (1992) and live versions can be found on Clapton's CD, Unplugged (1992) and on One More Car, One More Rider (2002).
Besides “Tears In Heaven”, Eric Clapton wrote “Signe”, “Circus”, and “My Father’s Eyes” to work through his loss. “Signe” is on Unplugged. “Circus” and “My Father’s Eyes” were omitted from the Unplugged CD but were revamped and recorded for Clapton’s 1998 album, Pilgrim. Additionally, “My Father’s Eyes” and “Tears In Heaven” are also on the live CD, One More Car, One More Rider.