Pete Tong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pete Tong
Pete tong head crop.jpg
Pete Tong at Glastonbury in 2009
Background information
Birth name Peter Tong
Born (1960-07-31) 31 July 1960 (age 54)
Dartford, Kent, England
Genres Electronica, Balearic beat, oldschool jungle, house music
Occupation(s) DJ, music producer
Years active 1981-presents

Peter 'Pete' Tong, MBE (born 31 July 1960) is an English DJ who works for BBC Radio 1.[1] He is the host of programmes such as Essential Mix and Essential Selection on the radio service, which can be heard through Internet radio streams, for his record label FFRR Records,[2] and for his own performances at nightclubs and music festivals. Tong has also worked as a record producer, and is regarded as the "global ambassador for electronic music"[3]

The phrase "It's all gone Pete Tong", where the name is used as rhyming slang for "a bit wrong", was reputedly first coined by Paul Oakenfold in late 1987 in an article about acid house called "Bermondsey Goes Balearic" for Terry Farley and Pete Heller's Boys Own fanzine. It's All Gone Pete Tong is also the title of a 2004 film which portrays a fictional DJ's experiences as he realises he is becoming deaf. Tong appears briefly in the film. It is also the name Tong has adopted for his club night at the nightclub Pacha in Ibiza and his nightly radio program in the United States on iHeartRadio's "Evolution" EDM format platform.[4][5][6]

In 2008, Tong was involved with the organising of the International Music Summit in Ibiza, an event that has become an annual fixture (the 2012 summit was held in May).[7]

Early years[edit]

Tong was born in Dartford in 1960, and was educated at the fee-paying King's School, Rochester, Kent.[8][9]

Tong's original musical interest was in drumming, but he soon moved on to DJing. He played his first public gig at a friend's wedding at age 15. While at school he and a couple of friends earned some extra money by promoting a couple of local bands, booking halls for gigs etc.[10] He also worked as part of the Kent "Soul Mafia" bringing soul weekenders to seaside towns like Caister-on-Sea and Prestatyn. Tong was heavily influenced by the late DJ Froggy in his early years and most of Tong's success is down to Froggy's originality in style of record mixing presentation.

Initially after leaving school Tong set up a mobile disco based in a transit van, but he soon started his own club in Baker Street called Family Function. He also booked bands for an alternative night, the first of which was the then unknown Culture Club. Later he became DJ and promoter at the Kings Lodge club in West Kingsdown and quickly gained a faithful following, who were prepared to travel from far and wide on a Wednesday night to hear him playing underground jazz, funk and soul. Later moving venue to the Hill Top, also in West Kingsdown, he was responsible for breaking classics such as Lonnie Liston Smith's "Expansions" and Ritchie Cole's "Groovin on a New York Afternoon".

In 1979, Tong became a staff writer for Blues & Soul Magazine.[11] After a year he was promoted to features editor, a position he would hold until 1983. He left Blues & Soul to join London Records as an A&R manager. Through his connections in London Records, Tong was exposed to the newly emerging house music sound from Chicago. In 1986, Tong organised a compilation album, The House Sound of Chicago, Vol. 1, the first British release to gather and expose this genre.

Radio career[edit]

Tong's first appearance on radio was in the late 1970s on Radio Invicta 92.4fm, Europe's first soul music station. He joined a rotation of nightclub DJs, including Steve Walsh, Chris Hill, Chris Brown and others, to present monthly guest shows.[citation needed] Later, he appeared on local radio station BBC Radio Medway, as part of the 'Soul Mafia', and performed occasional mixes for Radio London.[citation needed] In 1981, Tong made his first appearance on Radio 1 as the host of a 15-minute feature on Peter Powell's show—he playing new tracks, and covered the latest gossip and news from the dance music industry.[citation needed]

When Invicta Radio started in Kent in 1984, Tong became the host of a regular soul show on the station. As Tong had joined the developing dance-DJ management company of DJ-turned-journalist Eddie Gordon, of the Kent Messenger, he built a prominent county profile and performed at Gordon's local club 'The Slammer'.[8] Tong joined Capital Radio in 1988 to present a weekly dance programme, replacing the departing Jeff Young.

From the late 1980s, Gordon had received weekly two-hour-long cassette mixes from DJs Tony Humphries, from New York, US' Hot 96, and Frankie Knuckles, from KISS 100.[12] Gordon later pitched the idea of a UK-based electronic dance music show, with an emphasis on house, that showcased different DJs and styles of music, while also providing an outlet for UK dance music.[12] Tong oversaw the production of the show, which was launched in 1991 as the Essential Mix and was produced by Gordon.[13] The show was the first BBC production to broadcast live from Ibiza, Spain.[12]

Gordon left Essential Mix in 2003, which had changed to a three-hour-long format. Additionally, a one-hour Sunday edition of the programme, called "The Essential Selection - Part 2", was broadcast from April 1992 to April 1993.[14] Since 29 September 2006, the show has been titled Pete Tong: The Official Start To The Weekend (although the feature "Essential New Tune" remains).[8] The 500th episode was broadcast on 23/24 April 2010, featuring solely Tong on the Friday night, and Tong, plus DJs Sasha and Richie Hawtin, live from Circus nightclub in Liverpool, UK, for the second section.[12]

In November 2012, Tong was asked by Clear Channel Communications in the US to help launch a new EDM channel, on their iHeartRadio platform, called 'Evolution'. Along with the launch of the channel, Tong introduced a nightly two-hour program titled Its All Gone Pete Tong, which is similar to his BBC 1 program. The platform would later form the basis for Clear Channel to expand the Evolution brand, with the 20 December 2012 launch of the format on WEDX/Boston that included Tong's station promos and voiceover drops. Likewise, Tong's iHeartRadio program also airs on WEDX.[citation needed]


Tong is one of Britain's most recognised DJs, having gained a large following of fans from his Essential Selection programme. He was appointed a MBE at the 2014 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting and music.[15][16]

From 2003 to 2007, Tong was the resident DJ at Pacha nightclub in Ibiza, where he oversaw the Pure Pacha events. In 2008 Tong left Pacha and signed with Eden nightclub in Sant Antoni de Portmany to host his own Wonderland night. Tong explained in a 2009 interview that he, "from a UK perspective", he has played in Ibiza since inception (1991) and, as of the time of the interview, divided his time between the UK, Ibiza and the US, the latter of which he tours in the northern autumn.[17]

In March 2011, he announced that he would be returning to Pacha on Friday nights with a new event named 'All Gone Pete Tong'.[18] Tong played the Together Winter Music Festival in London, UK, at Alexandra Palace on 26 November 2011.[19]

Mix album discography[edit]

All chart positions are in the UK Compilation Chart[20]

  • Cream Live (1995) (#3) (CD1, mixed with Paul Oakenfold)
  • The Annual (1995) (#13) (CD1)
  • The Annual II (1996) (#1) (CD1)
  • Dance Nation 3 (1997) (Mixed by Pete Tong and Judge Jules)
  • Essential Selection Summer 1997 (1997) (#4) (Orange cover)
  • The Annual III (1997) (#3) (CD1)
  • Essential Selection Winter 1997 (1997) (#10) (Light blue cover)
  • Dance Nation 5 (Mixed by Pete Tong and Boy George)
  • Essential Selection Spring 1998 (#4) (Green cover)
  • Essential Selection Summer 1998 (1998) (#4) (Red cover of strawberries)
  • Essential Selection Summer 1998 (1998) (Limited Edition) (#2) (Yellow cover of strawberries, CD3 is Twelve Ibiza Classics mixed by Paul Oakenfold)
  • Essential Selection '98 Tong/Oakenfold (1998) (#13) (Orange cover of oranges)
  • Essential Selection '98 Tong/Oakenfold (1998) (Limited Edition) (#11) (Purple cover of tinted oranges, CD3 is mixed by Carl Cox)
  • Essential Selection Spring 1999 (1999) (#13) (Cover of gold, green and purple easter eggs)
  • Essential Selection Spring 1999 (1999) (Limited Edition) (#3) (Gold cover of easter eggs, CD3 is Hacienda Classics mixed by Graeme Park)
  • Essential Selection Ibiza 1999 (1999) (#11) (Cover of blue, red and yellow buckets and spades)
  • Essential Selection Ibiza 1999 (1999) (#7) (Cover of green, purple and virdian bucket and spades, CD3 is mixed by DJ Pippi)
  • Essential Selection Presents Music From The Motion Picture Human Traffic (1999)
  • Essential Millennium (1999) (#10) (Mixed by Pete Tong/Fatboy Slim/Paul Oakenfold)
  • Essential Selection Spring 2000 (2000) (#8)
  • Essential Selection Ibiza 2000 (2000) (#11)
  • Essential Mix 2000 (2000)
  • Twisted Beats (2001)
  • Essential Selection Presents The Clubber's Bible Winter 2002 (2001)
  • Fashion TV Presents Pete Tong (2003)
  • Essential Selection Pete Tong (2003) (did not chart)
  • Pure Pacha Ibiza: Mixed by Pete Tong and Andy B (2004)
  • It's Showtime! (Pete Tong Presents Pure Pacha Vol.II Summer Season 2005 (2005)
  • Essential Classics (2005)
  • Pure Pacha Vol.1 (2006) (Mixed by Pete Tong & Sarah Main)
  • Essential Dance Mix (2006)
  • Pure Pacha 3 (Mixed with Pete Tong and Sarah Main)
  • Wonderland (2008)
  • Pete Tong Presents Wonderland 2009 (2009)
  • Pete Tong Presents Wonderland 2010 (2010)
  • Pete Tong and Riva Starr: Future Underground (2011)
  • All Gone Pete Tong & Felix da House Cat Ibiza '11 (2011)
  • All Gone Pete Tong & Groove Armada Miami '12 (2012)
  • All Gone Pete Tong & Skream Miami '13 (2013)
  • The Pete Tong Collection (2013)


  1. ^ "Pete Tong". BBC Radio 1. BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Richard Smirke (25 May 2011). "Pete Tong Teams With Warner U.K. To Relaunch FFRR Label". Billboard. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Paul Scaife (2012). "PETE TONG ANNOUNCES 'ALL GONE PETE TONG' RADIO SHOW IN USA ON IHEARTRADIO'S EVOLUTION STATION (English)". recordoftheday. Record of the Day. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Paul Hurley. "It's All Gone Pete Tong review". TalkTalk. Tiscali. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "It's All Gone Pete Tong (2004)". IMDb., Inc. 1990–2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Evolution 101.7 – All Things Dance for Boston | Listen Live | iHeartRadio". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Antwan Shalom (2012). "Pete Tong Interview for IMS 2012 (English)". electrocorp (in English and French). Electrocorp – Le Magazine des Musiques Electroniques. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "It's all going Pete Tong". BBC Kent. 25 August 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Blues & Soul Magazine". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Radio 1 celebrates 500th DJ to take part in Essential Mix with special live broadcast". BBC Radio 1. 2 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Frequency Finder" Classic Radio 1 Schedules 1991
  14. ^ "Frequency Finder" Classic Radio 1 Schedules 1992
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. NN24. 31 December 2013.
  16. ^ "BBC News – Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong honoured with an MBE". 30 December 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Interview: Pete Tong, Wonderland, Ibiza" (Video upload). 12 November 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Confirmed: Pure Pacha All Gone Pete Tong". Ibiza Spotlight. Ibiza Spotlight S.L. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Catherine Elliott (31 October 2011). "DJ AT TOGETHER WINTER MUSIC FEST". Mixmag. Development Hell Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  20. ^ The Complete Book of the British Chart: Third Edition p.1275 (2003)

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]