Take a Chance on Me

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Posted: 2009 10-09


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(Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus)
© 1982 Polar Music International AB
Published by: Universal/Union Songs AB
Video produced by: Kjell Sundvall and Kjell-Åke Andersson

#ABBA #TakeAChanceOnMe #Vevo

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Take a Chance on Me on Wikipedia
"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA: The Album
B-side"I'm a Marionette"
ReleasedJanuary 1978
Recorded15 August 1977 at Marcus Music Studio
GenreEuropop, disco
LabelPolar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Writer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
CertificationGold (UK, US)
ABBA singles chronology

"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.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Reception
  • 3 Chart positions
    • 3.1 Weekly singles charts
    • 3.2 Year-end charts
    • 3.3 Certifications
  • 4 Erasure cover version
    • 4.1 Music video
  • 5 A-Teens version
    • 5.1 Music video
  • 6 Other cover versions
  • 7 Live cover performances
  • 8 Appearances in other media
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


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 intended to be part of a mini-musical entitled The Girl with the Golden Hair that Andersson and Ulvaeus had planned, but ultimately shelved.


"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.[3]

"Take a Chance on Me" also topped the charts in Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Mexico, and was a Top 3 hit in 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 Canada, South Africa, France and Norway.[4]

Erasure cover version

"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by Erasure
from the album Abba-esque
ReleasedJune 1, 1992
LabelMute Records
Writer(s)Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Dave Bascombe
Erasure singles chronology

The track was famously 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;[15] 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.[16]

Music video

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 version

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

"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 video

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.[17]

Other cover versions

  • British synthpop duo Erasure earned an award from the UK Singles Chart for their release of Abba-esque, an ABBA cover EP that included a cover version of "Take a Chance on Me".
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album Chipmunk Rock.
  • Various eurodance cover versions by Abbacadabra were released through British label Almighty Records in the late 1990s. Audio samples can be heard on the official Almighty Records website.[18]
  • Other dance covers have been recorded by Euphorica on their 2003 album ABBA Dance and Wildside.[19]
  • American musician/songwriter Pamela McNeill covered the song on her Tribute To ABBA album, which was produced by her husband Dugan McNeill.[citation needed]
  • A pseudo-instrumental version with minimal lyrics by Waterloop appears on the Lay All Your Love On ABBA compilation.[citation needed]
  • The song has been covered by Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band[20]
  • An a cappella version was recorded by the Belgian vocal group Voice Male for their 1999 album Colors.[21]
  • A pop/dance cover of the song by J'Nae Fincannon was included on the 2000 compilation Tokahits.[22]
  • 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.[23]
  • 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]
  • In the same year, the Australian band (also known by the children's TV show) Hi-5 song performed it in special Abba Mania, broadcast by Channel Nine.
  • The song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on their 2008 album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA.[24]
  • Scottish indie artist Colin Asquith recorded a cover of the song which retains the original lyrics, but features a completely reworked melody in the chorus. An audio sample can be heard on his official website.[25]
  • 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.

Live cover performances

  • American comedian Andy Dick did a rendition of the song (playing the melody on Kazoo) while he appeared on the talk show Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[citation needed]

Appearances in other media

  • In the American version of The Office, Ed Helms as Andy sings the song a cappella with 2 friends on speakerphone filling in the harmonies to court Angela Martin in the fourth season episode "Launch Party" from 2007.
  • In 2008, American politician John McCain, an avid ABBA fan, used the song at many rallies for his presidential campaign.[26]
  • In the 2008 movie, Get Smart.
  • On June 21, 2012, Stephen Colbert used the song as part of his campaign to take over Sweden's official Twitter account.
  • In the episode "Pearl Harbor" of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm and Reese dance to this song.


  1. ^ "Frida and Bjorn Interview - The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song - Part II". YouTube. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  2. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 122. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  3. ^ List of 1970s UK Singles Chart number ones
  4. ^ "ABBA Charts". Home.zipworld.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Quick Reference Summary". Home.zipworld.com.au. 2014-03-22. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 349–50. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/adult-contemporary/1978-07-08
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ http://australian-charts.com/forum.asp?todo=viewthread&id=35092
  10. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.0070a&type=1&interval=20&PHPSESSID=4foft5ra8m6p1r9ojqe0hqdg26
  11. ^ http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/top-100-1978.shtml
  12. ^ http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1978.htm
  13. ^ "American single certifications – Abba". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Erasure - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Ellis, Michael (19 September 1992). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight" (PDF). Billboard (BPI Communications) 104 (38): 69. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "A-Teens Take A Chance On Me". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  18. ^ "Abbacadabra – Take A Chance On Me – Almighty Records". Almightyrecords.com. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Take A Chance On Me (Original Mix): Wildside: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. ASIN B000WLXTN2.  Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  20. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  21. ^ [1] Archived 25 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Jim Ross, Radio Dj And Reviewer – Seattle. "Tokahits | Tokahits". CD Baby. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  23. ^ [2] Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA at the Wayback Machine Manila Times, January 9, 2008
  25. ^ "Edinburgh singer-songwriter Colin Asquith". colinasquith.com. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  26. ^ Philip Webster (June 13, 2008). "John McCain swaps Chuck Berry for Abba". The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion. Retrieved 5 February 2012. (registration required (help)). 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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