Take a Chance on Me

This article is about the ABBA song. For other uses, see Take a Chance on Me (disambiguation).
"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA: The Album
B-side "I'm a Marionette"
Released 12 December 1977
Format Vinyl
Recorded 15 August 1977 at Marcus Music Studio
Genre Europop, disco
Length 4:05
Label Polar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"The Name of the Game"
"Take a Chance on Me/I'm a Marionette"
Music video
"Take A Chance On Me" on YouTube

"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"
A 19 second sample of "Take a Chance on Me" demonstrating the "tck-a-ch" rhythm in the form of the "take-a-chance" vocal backing behind the main lyrics.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

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 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.[4]

Chart performance

Weekly singles charts

Charts (1978)[5] Peak
Australian Singles Chart 12
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Top Singles [6] 3
Dutch Singles Chart 2
Eurochart Hot 100 1
French Singles Chart 10
German Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart 1
Japanese Singles Chart 67
Mexican Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 14
Norwegian Singles Chart 8
Rhodesian Singles Chart 2
South African Singles Chart 6
Swiss Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart[7] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[8] 9
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
US Cashbox Top 100 Singles[9] 5

Year-end charts

Chart (1978) Rank
Australia [10] 109
Canada [11] 55
UK [12] 9
US Billboard [13] 32


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[14] 234,000[15]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Preceded by
"Figaro" by Brotherhood of Man
UK Singles Chart number-one single
18 February 1978 – 11 March 1978
Succeeded by
"Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
25 February 1978
Succeeded by
"The Rare Auld Times" by Danny Doyle
Preceded by
"If I Had Words" by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley
Belgian Flemish VRT Top 30 number-one single (first run)
4 March 1978
Succeeded by
"If I Had Words" by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley
Preceded by
"Mull of Kintyre" by Wings
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles number-one single
8 March 1978 – 29 March 1978
Succeeded by
"Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gees
Preceded by
"If I Had Words" by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley
Belgian Flemish VRT Top 30 number-one single (second run)
18 March 1978
Succeeded by
"I Can't Stand the Rain" by Eruption
Preceded by
"Mull of Kintyre" by Wings
Austrian Singles Chart number-one single
17 April 1978 – 8 May 1978
Succeeded by
"Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.

Erasure cover version

"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by Erasure
from the album Abba-esque
Released June 1, 1992
Genre Synthpop
Length 4:45
Label Mute Records
Writer(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)"

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;[16] 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.[17]

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
Released 2000
Format Airplay
Recorded 1999
Genre Europop
Length 3:52
Label Universal Music Group
Writer(s) B. Andersson
B. Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Thomas Johansson
Ronald Malmberg
A-Teens singles chronology
"One of Us"
"Take a Chance on Me"
"Dancing Queen"

"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.[18]

Other cover versions


  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. "Image : RPM Weekly : 100 Singles". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  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. 1978-07-08. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  9. 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.
  10. Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  11. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  12. "Top 100 1978 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  13. "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  14. "American single certifications – Abba". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  15. 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.
  16. "Erasure - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  17. Ellis, Michael (19 September 1992). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight" (PDF). Billboard. BPI Communications. 104 (38): 69. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  18. "A-Teens Take A Chance On Me". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  19. Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  20. Archived 25 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. Jim Ross, Radio Dj And Reviewer – Seattle. "Tokahits | Tokahits". CD Baby. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  22. Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA at the Wayback Machine (archived 5 December 2008) Manila Times, January 9, 2008
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