This Burt Bacharach/Hal David song was originally written for Keely Smith (Louis Prima's ex-singing partner) but she never recorded it.
Hal David on how he came up with the lyrics for this song: "I paid attention to what people said. One time I was at a dinner party when it was announced someone wasn't turning up, and the hostess said: 'that's one less bell to answer'. I went home and wrote 'One Less Bell To Answer' - 'one less spells the answer. One less egg to fry.'" (From the Independent newspaper May 9, 2008)
This song is about losing your love, and the sadness that follows the loss. The lead vocals were by Marilyn McCoo, who was the 5th Dimension's featured vocalist at the time. She sings that she should be happy that her man is gone but all she does is cry - no more laughter.
In November of 1970, the group were guests on the television series with Robert Wagner called It Takes A Thief and performed both "Puppet Man" and "One Less Bell to Answer" on the show.