I Die: You Die

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"I Die: You Die"
Single by Gary Numan
from the album Telekon
B-side UK: "Down in the Park (Piano Version)"
other countries: "Sleep by Windows"
Released 30 August 1980
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded Rock City Studios, Shepperton, 1980
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 3:40
Label Beggars Banquet
BEG 46
Writer(s) Gary Numan
Producer(s) Gary Numan
Gary Numan singles chronology
"We Are Glass"
"I Die: You Die"
"This Wreckage"

"I Die: You Die" is a Gary Numan single from August 1980. Released shortly before his fourth album, Telekon, it continued the anthemic style Numan had begun earlier in the year with "We Are Glass". The composer himself described the two singles as "Much the same thing. Both very chorus-orientated with the guitars as the main rhythmic device and the keyboards tinkling over the top".[1]

Lyrically the song was aimed at what Numan saw as an increasingly vitriolic music press:[2]

They crawl out
Of their holes for me
And I die you die
Hear them laugh
Watch them turn on me
And I die you die
See my scars
They call me such things
Tear me, tear me, tear me

The original vinyl single was issued in a variety of different colours. It reached number 6 in the UK charts in 1980[3] but was not included on the LP Telekon, released the next month; however it did appear on overseas issues of the album, replacing the song "Sleep by Windows". An alternate mix of the A-side was used for the music video and on a limited edition, white-labelled, single release, later included as a bonus track on the 1998 CD re-issue of Telekon. The UK single B-side was a solo piano version of one of Numan's most popular songs, "Down in the Park". In the US, Australia and other countries where "I Die: You Die" supplanted "Sleep by Windows" on Telekon, the latter track was used as the B-side of the single.

Like "We Are Glass", "I Die: You Die" had been premiered live during the final legs of The Touring Principle concerts before being committed to record. It has since featured regularly in Numan's performances and on his live albums. Stephin Merritt from The Magnetic Fields covered the song on the Random tribute in 1997. It was remixed for the 1998 collection The Mix and appears on numerous compilation albums.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Die: You Die" (Gary Numan) - 3:40
  2. "Down in the Park (Piano Version)" (Numan) - 4:16

Production credits[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 6
Irish Singles Chart[4] 16
American Singles Chart[5] 109


  • Paul Goodwin (2004). Electric Pioneer: An Armchair Guide to Gary Numan