Take a Chance on Me

Song Review by

This 1977 ABBA single is a good example of the surprising complexity that hides behind the pop hooks in the group's hits. The lyrics are simple romantic fodder but the melody makes the song something special. Musically speaking, "Take a Chance on Me" essentially consists of three parts: mellow verses with an almost lullaby-like quality, dramatic solo vocal bridges that suddenly raise the emotional level of the song, and a joyful chorus that maintains the emotional high of the bridge while also working in an infectious singalong element. Taken on their own, these parts would seem incongruous yet songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson manage to weave these parts into a seamless whole by arranging them in a fashion that gives the song an effective sense of ebb and flow. This impression is further enhanced by ABBA's recording, which wraps the tune in burbling synthesizers and glossy vocals as well as a stuttering vocal-harmony hook that is guaranteed to instantly lodge itself in the listener's memory. It also adds a gentle dance rhythm that helped the song become another worldwide smash hit for ABBA during the height of the disco era, including a Top Five chart placing in the U.S. The end result is a song whose mastery of tension and release makes it an instantly memorable item. It also inspired a techno-oriented cover by Erasure on their all-ABBA cover EP Abba-esque that spiced up the song with an unlikely but effective ragga section. It was a highlight of that EP, proving that "Take a Chance on Me" is another one of the durable jewels in Ulvaeus and Andersson's pop songwriting crown.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Album 1978 Polydor / Universal International 4:03
Billboard Top Hits: 1978 1978
Various Artists
Rhino 4:01
No Image 1979 Atlantic 3:59
No Image 1980 Montery / IVE
No Image 1982 Polydor
Best of ABBA 1984 Silver Eagle Records
Hits 1987 Pickwick 4:02
No Image 1991 4:22
Gold: Greatest Hits [Video] 1993 Polydor
Gold: Greatest Hits 1993 Polydor / PolyGram 4:06
Thank You for the Music [1995] 1995 Polydor
Thank You for the Music [Box] 1995 Polygram 4:03
Billboard Top Hits: 1975-1979 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 4:01
Forever Gold 1998 Polydor / Polygram 4:04
Party 1998
Various Artists
Singles Collection 1972-82 1999 Polygram 4:24
25th Anniversary Singles Collection 1999 Polar Records 4:28
Complete Golden Collection 2000 Polygram 4:06
Number One 70's 2000
Various Artists
PolyGram 4:04
20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABBA 2000 Polydor / Dolvador 4:05
The Definitive Collection 2001 UTV / Polygram 4:05
The Songs of ABBA 2002 K-Tel Distribution 4:21
Real ABBA Gold [Musicbank] 2002 Musicbank
ABBA and Other 70's Disco Hits 2003
The ABBA Story 2004 Polar Records 4:00
The Last Video 2004 Polydor
Todo ABBA: Sus Grandes Exitos 2004 Universal / Polar 4:05
Super Troupers: From Waterloo to Mamma Mia! [DVD] 2004 Universal International
UK Music Hall of Fame 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:02
Best #1 Singles in the World Ever 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:01
Sing-A-Long Summer 2005
Various Artists
WEA / Warner Special Marketing 4:00
The Complete Studio Recordings 2005 Universal / Universal International 4:00
No Image 2005 Universal Distribution 4:04
No Image 2006 United Recordings
Chronicles 2006 Polydor / Polar 4:03
S.O.S.: Best of ABBA 2007 Polar Records
Golden Years 2007 PHV
Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:05
Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Vol. 2: I Can't Help Myself 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:05
No Image 2007 Polydor
The Albums 2008 Polydor / Universal / Universal Distribution 4:07
ABBA Gold 2009 Universal Distribution 4:08
Icon 2010 Polar 4:04
ABBA: The Vinyl Collection 2010 Polydor / Universal Distribution / Universal Music 4:07
De Pre Historie: 1978, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 3:57
Light & Dark: The Platinum Tribute Collection Klone
The Best of ABBA Universal 4:06