TG wrote:I've often wondered about this. His style is like no one else's and his tone is also very different from everything that came before.
It is indeed a weird thing, and I'm surprised it hasn't been talked about more. I suppose there is a precedent in the solo to "Something". It's not a slide, but it's the same sort of melodic quality in effect. But (as Diamond Dog has suggested) it really isn't a Beatles sound, it's a solo George sound. He discovered it seemingly during ATHMP
and used it heavily immediately
: "My Sweet Lord" theme, "Wah-Wah" solo, "Isn't It a Pity" epic solo, "What Is Life" fills, "Beware of Darkness" solo, "I Dig Love" solo, and maybe more. ("I'd Have You Anytime" and a few others feature slide but it sounds a bit different. Can't tell if it's Harrison or maybe Dave Mason or Clapton or something.)
And he continued to use it from that point on. It did change in the Jeff Lynne days, got more compressed and distorted (it seems?), much as David Gilmour's guitar tone has turned into a more processed version of itself in later years. The "Free As a Bird" solo is obviously the same melodic sense, but it sounds rather different somehow.