Take a Chance on Me

"Take a Chance on Me" is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in January 1978 as the second single from their fifth studio album ABBA: The Album. The song has been featured on a number of ABBA compilations such as Gold: Greatest Hits.

"Take a Chance on Me"
Take a Chance on Me (Abba single) coverart.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album The Album
B-side"I'm a Marionette"
ReleasedJanuary 1978
April 1978 (U.S.)
Recorded15 August 1977 at Marcus Music Studio
GenreEuropop, disco
LabelPolar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"The Name of the Game"
"Take a Chance on Me"
Music video
"Take A Chance On Me" on YouTube


The working title of "Take a Chance on Me" was "Billy Boy". Written and recorded in 1977 by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, it opens as a cold intro and was sung by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, with Fältskog delivering the solo passages. It has a constant uptempo throughout the entire recording. It was one of ABBA's first singles in which their manager Stig Anderson did not lend a hand in writing the lyrics, firmly establishing Andersson and Ulvaeus as a songwriting partnership.

The song's origins sprang from Ulvaeus, whose hobby was running. While running, he would sing a "tck-a-ch"-style rhythm to himself over and over again, which then evolved into "take-a-chance" and the eventual lyrics.[1] The song's B-side was "I'm a Marionette", which, like "Thank You for the Music" and "I Wonder (Departure)" (the B-side to their previous single, "The Name of the Game"), was part of a mini-musical entitled The Girl With the Golden Hair during their 1977 concert tour.


"Take a Chance on Me" proved to be one of ABBA's most successful chart hits, becoming the group's seventh UK #1 (their third consecutive chart-topper in the country after "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "The Name of the Game").[2] It was also ABBA's final #1 in the UK of the 1970s, and gives the group the distinction of being the act with the most chart-topping singles of the 1970s in the UK.

"Take a Chance on Me" also topped the charts in Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Mexico, and was a Top 3 hit in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Rhodesia, Switzerland, and the United States (also reaching #9 on the AC chart), where it allegedly sold more copies than "Dancing Queen". "Take a Chance on Me" also reached the Top 10 in France, Norway and South Africa.[3]

Chart performanceEdit

Erasure versionEdit

"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by Erasure
from the album Abba-esque
ReleasedJune 1, 1992
Length4:45, 3:24 (radio edit)
LabelMute Records
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Dave Bascombe
Erasure singles chronology
"Breath of Life"
"Take a Chance on Me"
"Who Needs Love Like That (Hamburg Mix)"
Music video
"Take a Chance on Me" on YouTube

The track was covered by English synthpop duo Erasure in 1992, as part of their Abba-esque EP, with an additional ragga-style toast performed by MC Kinky added to the song. The cover topped the UK Singles Chart for 5 weeks in 1992. In the United States, it reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.[18] Although it had earned enough charting points to reach the publication's main Hot 100 chart, it was not eligible to enter as it had not been released commercially as a single.[19]

Critical receptionEdit

Billboard wrote that "venerable U.K. pop/dance duo lovingly covers a favorite from now-legendary Swedish pop act Abba's catalog. Track maintains the cool kitsch of the original, while giving it electro-hip instrumentation and a jolting-but-pleasing toast interlude by MC Kinky. A must for adventurous popsters, while remixes have considerable club potential."[20] Amy Linden from Entertainment Weekly commented that Erasure "reverently tarts up "Take a Chance on Me", as keyboard whiz Vince Clarke pumps the ’70s gems full of ’92 club aggression." She also noted that the duo "digs that ABBA were Euro pop gods, and they pay respect with a frothy testimonial that has its tongue in the right place."[21] Tom Ewing from Freaky Trigger noted that "the whole project roars to life exactly once, when MC Kinky takes over for thirty delightful, crass seconds in the middle of "Take A Chance On Me" and shows the song a little creative disrespect at last."[22]

Music videoEdit

Erasure members Vince Clarke and Andy Bell played dual roles – as themselves and in drag (Clarke as Fältskog and Bell as Lyngstad) – in a music video heavily influenced by ABBA's original. MC Kinky (aka. Caron Geary), who sings the reggae/dancehall rap part, also appears in an interlude in the video.

A-Teens versionEdit

"Take a Chance on Me"
Promotional single by A-Teens
from the album The ABBA Generation
LabelUniversal Music Group
Songwriter(s)B. Andersson
B. Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Thomas Johansson
Ronald Malmberg

"Take a Chance on Me" was an A-Teens promo single from their debut album The ABBA Generation, a cover of the ABBA song of the same name. Universal Music Spain released the song on Spanish radio, hoping to promote the band in Spain in the early 2000s. The song also became part of the Head Over Heels motion picture soundtrack in 2001. Unlike the original, this version omits the lines "Gonna do my very best, baby can't you see? Gotta put me to the test, take a chance on me" from the second refrain and replaces them with the last two lines from the usual refrain.

Music videoEdit

A music video features the band at an indoor go-kart track, complete with neon lights, and the band is seen racing as they perform the song.[23]

Other cover versionsEdit

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album Chipmunk Rock.
  • The song has been covered by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band[24]
  • An a cappella version was recorded by the Belgian vocal group Voice Male for their 1999 album Colors.[25]
  • A pop/dance cover of the song by J'Nae Fincannon was included on the 2000 compilation Tokahits.[26]
  • Swedish musician Nils Landgren includes a version on his 2004 tribute album Funky ABBA.[citation needed]
  • The song was covered by Cashetta on the 2004 album Abbalicious, a compilation of ABBA covers songs performed by various American drag queens.[27]
  • German AC/DC tribute band Riff Raff recorded a cover in AC/DC style for their 2006 album Rock 'N' Roll Mutation Vol. 1: Riff Raff Performs ABBA.[citation needed]
  • The song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on their 2008 album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA.[28]
  • Both the stage musical Mamma Mia! and its 2008 film adaptation cover the song, sung by Rosie to Bill when she asks him to reconsider getting married and not living the single life he's been living. Like the A-Teens version, this version omits the lines "Gonna do my very best, baby can't you see; gonna put me to the test, take a chance on me" from the second refrain and replaces them with the last two lines from the usual refrain. However, the whispered lines "That's all I ask of you, honey" and "C'mon, give me a break, won't you" are omitted as well.
  • Andy Bernard serenades Angela Martin with this song on the fourth-season episode of The Office entitled "Launch Party."


  1. ^ "Frida and Bjorn Interview - The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song - Part II". YouTube. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  2. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 122. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  3. ^ "ABBA Charts". Home.zipworld.com.au. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Quick Reference Summary". Home.zipworld.com.au. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly : 100 Singles". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 8 July 1978. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 349–50. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "Adult Contemporary Music Chart". Billboard. 8 July 1978. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  13. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1978
  14. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1979). "Top 200 Singles in 1978". BPI Year Book 1979 (4th ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 186–89. ISBN 0-906154-02-2.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  16. ^ Trust, Gary (23 January 2009). "Ask Billboard: Mariah Carey, Abba, Oasis, The Verve". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Abba". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ "Erasure - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  19. ^ Ellis, Michael (19 September 1992). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight" (PDF). Billboard. BPI Communications. 104 (38): 69. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Billboard: Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Abba-esque". Entertainment Weekly. 11 September 1992. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  22. ^ "ERASURE – ABBA-Esque EP". Freaky Trigger. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  23. ^ "A-Teens Take A Chance On Me". YouTube. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  24. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  25. ^ [1] Archived 25 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Jim Ross, Radio Dj And Reviewer – Seattle. "Tokahits | Tokahits". CD Baby. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  27. ^ [2] Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2010. Manila Times, January 9, 2008

External linksEdit