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Eric Clapton hasn't ever disappeared from the charts or suffered extreme sales drops into obscurity, but the '80s weren't exactly lush either. He recovered from drug and alcohol addiction for most of the decade while putting out middling efforts. His 1989 album "Journeyman" was a bit of return to form -- enough for a No. 16 peak -- but it wasn't until tragedy struck that Clapton was back to arching commercial success. His four-year-old son died in an accident in 1991, and he penned "Tears in Heaven" for the "Rush" soundtrack as a result. That sad song propelled Clapton back into the spotlight, and he then released his acoustic MTV "Unplugged" album in 1992, which became his biggest-selling album ever. His successful 1994's "From the Cradle" set proved that his popularity was no fluke.
- Katie Hasty