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, UK
Genres Electronica, Balearic beat, oldschool jungle, house music
Occupations DJ, music producer

Peter 'Pete' Tong, MBE (born 31 July 1960) is a British 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 King's School, Rochester, Kent.[8]

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. 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.[9] 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 station. He joined a rotation of nightclub DJs including Steve Walsh, Chris Hill, Chris Brown and others to present monthly guest shows. Later he appeared on local radio station BBC Radio Medway in the 'Soul Mafia' and doing occasional mixes for Radio London. In 1981 he made his first appearance on Radio 1 hosting a 15-minute feature on Peter Powell's show, playing the new tracks and covering the latest gossip and news from the dance world.

When Invicta Radio started up in Kent in 1984, Tong joined them to host a regular soul show. Having joined the developing dance-DJ management company of DJ turned journalist Eddie Gordon of the Kent Messenger, he built up a big 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 1991, Tong returned to BBC Radio1 to host the Eddie Gordon-produced Essential Selection, a hot music show that aired on Friday evenings, at varying times from 6-10pm between 1991 and 2006.[8] As well as showcasing the latest dance & electronic music, the show and informs listeners what club nights are on around the United Kingdom at weekends. From 1992 to 1993, a second weekly edition of the show aired on Sunday evenings from 7-8pm. From 29 September 2006 onwards, the show dropped its name in the UK from Essential Selection and was referred to as simply "Pete Tong: The Official Start To The Weekend", airing from 7-9pm until 2009 when it changed to 9-11pm.

In November 2012, Tong was asked by Clear Channel Communications in the United States to help launch a new EDM channel on their iHeartRadio platform called "Evolution," which features cutting edge dance, house, trance and electronica tracks. Along with the launch, Tong introduced a nightly 2-hour program aptly 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 to the terrestrial airwaves with the 20 December 2012 launch of the format on WEDX/Boston, with Tong doing promos and voiceover drops for the station. Likewise, his iHeartRadio program also airs on WEDX.


Tong is one of Britain's most recognised DJs and gained a large following of fans from his Essential Selection programme that aired on BBC Radio 1 between 1991 and 2006. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting and music.[10][11]

From 2003 to 2007 he was resident at the Pacha nightclub in Ibiza, drawing people from all over the world to his Pure Pacha nights. In 2008 he left Pacha and signed with Eden nightclub in Sant Antoni de Portmany to host his own Wonderland night. In March 2011 he announced that he would be returning to Pacha on Friday nights with his new event named 'All Gone Pete Tong'.

Pete Tong played the Together Winter Music Festival in London at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 26 November 2011.

Mix album discography[edit]

All chart positions are in the UK Compilation Chart[12]

  • 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. ^ "Blues & Soul Magazine". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. NN24. 31 December 2013.
  11. ^ "BBC News – Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong honoured with an MBE". 30 December 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  12. ^ The Complete Book of the British Chart: Third Edition p.1275 (2003)

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]