Would you confirm that the use of article is relevant for discriminating the expressions below, or are they freely interchangeable in their respective contexts:
ring a bell
ring the bell
ring a bell - (coll.) sound familiar; remind of smth.: The name of the company rang a bell. One of my neighbors worked for them during the war.
ring the bell - (coll.) 1. (also: ring bells) be met with approval; be a complete success: The Vice President's speeches ring the bell with certain segments of middle America.
2. supply exactly what is necessary or desired: A good hot bowl of soup would ring the bell about now.