I Die: You Die

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"I Die: You Die"
Single by Gary Numan
from the album Telekon (reissue)
ReleasedAugust 30, 1980
RecordedMatrix Studios, London, 1980
Songwriter(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 song by the British musician Gary Numan, released as a single in 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]


Like "We Are Glass", "I Die: You Die" had been premiered live during the final legs of Numan's 1979-80 concert tour The Touring Principle, before being recorded. 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 album in 1997. It was remixed for the 1998 collection The Mix and appears on numerous compilation albums.

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 entered the UK Singles Chart at number 8 and peaked at number 6 the following week[3] but was not included on the vinyl release of Numan's Telekon album, released two weeks later. It did, however, appear on overseas releases of the album, replacing the song "Sleep by Windows", as well as the cassette release.

An alternative mix was used for the music video and a limited edition, white-labelled single release. This mix is the version used on all subsequent reissues of Telekon as a bonus track.

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.

Track listing[]

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

Production credits[]

Chart performance[]

Chart (1980) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 6
Irish Singles Chart[4] 16
American Singles Chart[5] 102[6]


  1. ^ Webbon, Stephen; Numan, Gary (December 1985). "Complete Gary Numan UK Discography". Record Collector. No. 76. p. 15.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-10-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "The Official Charts Company - Gary Numan - I Die - You Die". Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  5. ^ Billboard. 1980-10-18. p. 26. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  6. ^ Billboard Magazine 27-09-1980 p26


  • Paul Goodwin (2004). Electric Pioneer: An Armchair Guide to Gary Numan, Helter Skelter Publishing, ISBN 978-1900924955
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