Take a Chance on Me

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"Take a Chance on Me"
Take a Chance on Me (Abba single) coverart.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA: 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

"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. It reached the top ten in both the UK and US. The song has notably covered by the British band Erasure and also featured in the film Mamma Mia where it was performed by Julie Walters.


The working title of "Take a Chance on Me" was "Billy Boy".[1] Written and recorded in 1977 by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the song was one of ABBA's first singles in which their manager Stig Anderson assist with writing the lyrics, confirming Andersson and Ulvaeus as a songwriting partnership.[2]

The song's origins sprang from Ulvaeus, a keen runner, who would repeat a "tck-a-ch"-style rhythm to pace himself.[2] This evolved into "take-a-chance" and the eventual lyrics.[3] Palm the describer the song as 'ABBA at their most energetic and forceful'.[2]

The single'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 performed during their 1977 concert tour.[2]


Billboard Magazine described "Take a Chance on Me" as "one of [ABBA's] most busy, fast paced productions."[4]

"Take a Chance on Me" proved to be one of ABBA's most successful chart hits, becoming the group's seventh UK #1 (and third consecutive chart-topper in the country after "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "The Name of the Game").[5] 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. It sold over 500,000 copies and was awarded a gold disc.[6]

In the United States it reached #3 and was certified gold for 1 million sales.[7] The song peaked at #3 in Canada and Germany as well.[8][9]


Additional musicians[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[30] Gold 75,000^
Kenya 10,000[31]
Portugal 20,000[32]
United Kingdom (BPI)[34] Gold 882,000[33]
United States (RIAA)[35] Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] {{{award}}} 234,000[36]
physical sales

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Erasure version[edit]

"Take a Chance on Me"
Single by Erasure
from the album Abba-esque
Released1 June 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. As part of the EP, 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.[39] 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.[40]

Critical reception[edit]

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "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."[41] Amy Linden from Entertainment Weekly said 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 stated 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."[42] 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."[43] Dave Sholin from Gavin Report asked, "Abba goes techno?" He added that this updated version "retains much of the flavor in the original with hip production elements added."[44]

Music video[edit]

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.


  1. ^ Cole, Ian (23 February 2020). ABBA: Song by Song. Fonthill Media. p. 97.
  2. ^ a b c d Palm, Carl Magnus (2005). Abba : the complete guide to their music. London: Omnibus Press. pp. 44–50. ISBN 1-84449-505-1. OCLC 60589495.
  3. ^ "Frida and Bjorn Interview - The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song - Part II". YouTube. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 29 April 1978. p. 80. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  5. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 122. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  6. ^ https://www.bpi.co.uk/brit-certified/
  7. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA.
  8. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". www.bac-lac.gc.ca.
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  10. ^ "Quick Reference Summary". Home.zipworld.com.au. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
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  17. ^ "The Irish Charts > ABBA". IrishCharts.ie. Retrieved 3 November 2020. Note: User must define search parameter as "Abba".
  18. ^ "Norwegian Charts > ABBA" (in Norwegian). norwegiancharts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  19. ^ http://home.zipworld.com.au/~callisto/zimbabwe.html Archived 8 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
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  21. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 349–50. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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  23. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  26. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1978 - hitparade.ch". swisscharts.com.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  30. ^ "ABBA the World - Canada". Billboard: ABBA-8. 8 November 1979. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  31. ^ "ABBA the World - Kenya". Billboard: ABBA-18. 8 November 1979. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  32. ^ Fernando, Tenente (8 November 1979). "ABBA the World - Portugal". Billboard: ABBA-30. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  33. ^ Myers, Justin (22 April 2019). "ABBA's Official Top 20 biggest songs". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  34. ^ "British single certifications – ABBA – Take A Chance on Me". British Phonographic Industry.
  35. ^ "American single certifications – ABBA – Take A Chance on Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 3 November 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  36. ^ Trust, Gary (23 January 2009). "Ask Billboard: Mariah Carey, Abba, Oasis, The Verve". Billboard. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  37. ^ "American single certifications – Abba". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  38. ^ Murrells, Joseph. Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s : an illustrated directory. Arco Pub. p. 451. ISBN 0668064595. It sold over 500,000 in Britain, over 1,000,000 in the U.S.A. and with sales elsewhere an estimated tally of over two million
  39. ^ "Erasure - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  40. ^ Ellis, Michael (19 September 1992). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight" (PDF). Billboard. BPI Communications. 104 (38): 69. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
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  43. ^ "ERASURE – ABBA-Esque EP". Freaky Trigger. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  44. ^ Sholin, Dave (21 August 1992). "Gavin Picks: Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. p. 56. Retrieved 17 October 2020.

External links[edit]