Don't Answer Me

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"Don't Answer Me"
Single by The Alan Parsons Project
from the album Ammonia Avenue
B-side "Don't Let It Show"
Released March 1984
Format 7"
Recorded 1983
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:11
Label Arista
Writer(s) Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson
Producer(s) Alan Parsons
The Alan Parsons Project singles chronology
"You Don't Believe"
"Don't Answer Me"
"Prime Time"

"Don't Answer Me" is a 1984 song by the Alan Parsons Project from the album Ammonia Avenue. It became another success for the group, rising to number 15 on the Billboard charts in the United States, though it became the last Billboard Top 20 hit for the group. It also reached number 58 in the United Kingdom, the group's highest chart placing in their native country.[1] The music video, which was the first music video from the Alan Parsons Project, was rendered in comic book style, with art and animation by MW Kaluta.

The song[edit]

Instead of the art rock and progressive rock sounds for which Alan Parsons was well-known, Parsons crafted "Don't Answer Me" in the style of Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound technique. Eric Woolfson, the co-writer, handled lead vocals on the single, with Mel Collins providing a saxophone solo with a "soothing yet destitute wail".[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed at the Broadcast Arts animation studio, with Kaluta acting as lead designer and animator from a script by D.J. Webster. The video took 23 days to film, using a 40 man animation team, and combined traditional cel animation (in the rendering of the figures), stop-motion animation (for the majority of the movements), and even claymation. The final cost topped $50,000.[3]

The video is presented as a story in the fictional comic book series, The Adventures of Nick and Sugar, set in 1930s Florida. The story starts at the Flamingo Bar, where Sugar is on a date with the thuggish "Muscles" Malone. Sugar was once Nick's girl, and Nick drinks heavily (emptying a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red) as he watches Malone manhandle Sugar. After finishing the bottle, Nick leaves the bar and drives to the Burgers'N'Shakes drive-in, passing a billboard with the Ammonia Avenue album cover displayed. While admitting his heartbreak to Leslie, the carhop, a black sedan pulls up next to Nick's car carrying Malone and Sugar. When Sugar resists Malone's demand for a kiss, Malone moves to slap Sugar. An enraged Nick pulls Malone from his car and starts brawling with the much-larger thug. Malone appears to have beaten Nick, but Nick summons one last powerful uppercut and knocks Malone clear off the planet, sending him into the left eye of the Man in the Moon. Nick and Sugar embrace, deeply in love; as they embrace, the view quickly cuts to a still picture drawing of the band featuring Woolfson and Parsons at keyboards, dressed in 1930s cocktail lounge outfits, performing the song. Nick and Sugar drive away together, with Nick pausing to wipe Malone out of the Man in the Moon's eye with his handkerchief.[4]

The video placed second at the 1985 MTV Music Awards.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

  • Debuted on the US Billboard pop chart on 3 March 1984; charted for 15 weeks, peaked at number 15[citation needed]
  • Debuted on the US Billboard mainstream rock chart on 31 March 1984; charted for 8 weeks, peaked at number 15[citation needed]
  • Debuted on the US Billboard adult contemporary chart on 10 March 1984; charted for 19 weeks, peaked at number 4[citation needed]
  • Debuted on the CHUM (Canada) chart in May 1984; charted for 8 weeks, peaked at number 13[citation needed]
  • Debuted on the UK pop chart on 10 March 1984; charted for 4 weeks, peaked at number 58[1]