One Less Bell to Answer

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"One Less Bell to Answer"
Song by the 5th Dimension
from the album Portrait
Released April 1970
Recorded 1969–1970
Genre Pop
Length 3:31
Label Bell
Composer(s) Burt Bacharach
Lyricist(s) Hal David
Producer(s) Bones Howe

"One Less Bell to Answer" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Originally written in 1967 for Keely Smith, the song was rediscovered in late 1969 by Bones Howe, the producer for the 5th Dimension, and the song was included on the group's 1970 debut album for Bell Records, Portrait. Lead vocals on the single were sung by Marilyn McCoo. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 4 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart in 1970.[1] It also went to number one on the Adult Contemporary chart that same year. It became a platinum record.

The 5th Dimension version of the song was prominently featured at the same time in an episode of the Robert Wagner TV series, It Takes a Thief.

Bacharach himself included a version of it as the closing number with Cissy Houston vocal, on his own 1971 self titled A&M album.

Rosemary Clooney had a national easy listening chart record of this song in 1968. Barbra Streisand partially covered the song in the medley "One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not a Home" on her 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand. Also in 1971, Rita Reys recorded the song for her album Rita Reys Sings Burt Bacharach, which won her an Edison Award. Dionne Warwick recorded a version of the song on her 1972 Warner Bros. album Dionne; Bacharach and David produced their track for Warwick. Another 1972 cover was by Shirley Bassey on her album I Capricorn. Vikki Carr, Michael Ball, Vanessa Williams from Everlasting Love (2005), Trijntje Oosterhuis, and Sheryl Crow have also performed covers, and the song (specifically the Streisand medley version) was performed by Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenoweth in an episode of the American television series Glee. In 2012 Steps covered the song on their album Light Up the World.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 202.