Take a Chance on Me

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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 The Album
B-side "I'm a Marionette"
Released January 1978
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
Certification Gold (UK), Gold (USA)
ABBA singles chronology
"The Name of the Game"
(1977)
"Take a Chance on Me"
(1978)
"Eagle"
(1978)
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, simply called The Album. The song has been featured on a number of ABBA compilations such as Gold: Greatest Hits.

History[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

"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 West 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]

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1978)[5] Position
Australian Singles Chart 12
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Belgian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[6] 1
Canadian Singles Chart 7
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
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 9

Erasure cover version[edit]

The track was famously covered by English synthpop duo Erasure in 1992, as part of their Abba-esque EP, with an additional ragga-style rap performed by MC Kinky added to the song. The cover topped the UK Singles Chart for 5 weeks in 1992.

Music video[edit]

Erasure members Vince Clarke and Andy Bell recreated ABBA's "Take A Chance On Me" music video playing dual roles – as themselves & in drag – Clarke as Fältskog and Bell as Lyngstad. MC Kinky (aka. Caron Geary), who sings the reggae/dancehall rap part, also appears in an interlude in the video.

A-Teens version[edit]

"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"
(1999)
"Take a Chance on Me"
(2000)
"Dancing Queen"
(2000)

"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[edit]

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.[7]

Other cover versions[edit]

  • 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.[8]
  • Other dance covers have been recorded by Euphorica on their 2003 album ABBA Dance and Wildside.[9]
  • 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[10]
  • An a cappella version was recorded by the Belgian vocal group Voice Male for their 1999 album Colors.[11]
  • A pop/dance cover of the song by J'Nae Fincannon was included on the 2000 compilation Tokahits.[12]
  • Swedish musician Nils Landgren includes a version on his 2004 tribute album Funky ABBA.[citation needed]
  • Sam and Mark released a version of this song in 2006.
  • The song was covered by Cashetta on the 2004 album Abbalicious, a compilation of ABBA covers songs performed by various American drag queens.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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[edit]

Appearances in other media[edit]

  • On June 21, 2012, Stephen Colbert used the song as part of his campaign to take over Sweden's official Twitter account.

References[edit]

  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. ^ "A-Teens Take A Chance On Me". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Abbacadabra – Take A Chance On Me – Almighty Records". Almightyrecords.com. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "Take A Chance On Me (Original Mix): Wildside: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. ASIN B000WLXTN2. 
  10. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Jim Ross, Radio Dj And Reviewer – Seattle. "Tokahits | Tokahits". CD Baby. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA at the Wayback Machine Manila Times, January 9, 2008
  15. ^ "Edinburgh singer-songwriter Colin Asquith". colinasquith.com. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  16. ^ 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[edit]

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.