Mark Springer - founder member of the group and came up with the name RIP RIG AND PANIC -in conversation talking about life in music & art with David Eastaugh
Rip Rig + Panic was formed in 1980 naming their newly founded project after the 1965 Roland Kirk album of the same name, the duo preferred to explore their free jazz and reggae roots in contrast to their former band's avant-garde and political leanings.
Pianist Mark Springer, who had performed live with The Pop Group, began collaborating with the duo by playing keyboards and occasionally providing vocals during live shows. Eventually, vocalist Neneh Cherry joined followed by bassist Sean Oliver. This line-up released the single "Go! Go! Go! This Is It"/"The Ultimate in Fun (Is Going to the Disco with My Baby)" on 13 August 1981, with Gavin Martin of NME saying "Rip Rig and Panic tread a fine line between undisciplined wasted and ingenious commercial aplomb."
The band's debut album, God, was released on 3 September 1981 by Virgin Records. It fused free jazz and free improvisation with post-punk, funk and reggae music. The music received high marks from NME for their viruoso playing and esoteric sense of humor, with the review calling it "an act of faith in tumult." The single "Bob Hope Takes Risks" followed on 27 November.
For their second album, I Am Cold, the band adopted a more commercial approach in their sound while further embracing jazz and world music influences. The album was recorded with the help of vocalist Andi Oliver and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. The band made a guest appearance in an episode of the British sitcom The Young Ones performing their 1982 single "You're My Kind of Climate". 1983's Attitude was the band's final and most accessible album, supported by the singles "Beat the Beast" and "Do the Tightrope".