If you’re a fan of the Hawaiian crime drama on CBS you’ve probably recognized many of the great music featured from the classic rock era. The Rolling Stones was the first played in Season 1 and AC/DC, as well as the Stones, have been the most played throughout all four seasons of “Hawaii Five-0.” Jimi Hendrix’s lost music, and soon-to-be-released album in 2013, was the entire soundtrack for one episode. Jimmy Buffet was a guest star making parrotheads and parakeets rejoice.
Here’s a guide of what artist, song title, episode name (in Hawaiian and English), and the date aired from its respective season. Most of these songs presented in each episode act as a transition from one scene to the next or as the opening scene for that week. Find out how these classic rock songs interacted with the Five-0 Task Force’s main characters: Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park).
The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”: What an excellent song to open the fourth episode of its first season. This was played during a prison break in “Lanakila (Victory)” (air date October 11, 2010).
Dr. Hook – “Sexy Eyes”: This rock band is best remembered for the heartwrenching song “Sylvia’s Mother.” However, this is a complete departure from Dr. Hook’s other greatest hits. Why it’s featured on the show probably had to do with the infamous arguments that take place between Steve and Danny while driving. “Palekaiko (Paradise)” made its dubious premiere on December 6, 2010, episode 11.
AC/DC – “Girls Got Rhythm”: The dynamic duo of McGarrett and Williams are in a military surplus store in the season finale titled “Oia’i’o (Trust)” airing on May 16, 2011.
Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “What’s Your Name”: Lori Weston is another member of the Five-0 squad who lasted only one season. In this scene she goes into a bar to find another diver in “Mea Makamae (Treasure)” which aired on Oct. 10, 2011 (Episode 4).
AC/DC – “Shoot to the Thrill”: In Episode 5 of “Ma’ema’e (Clean)” (October 17, 2011 air date) rocks out during a volleyball game in progress. The actor portraying Steve McGarrett, Alex O’ Loughlin, is Australian, so its likely AC/DC is a nod to this handsome Aussie.
AC/DC – “Thunderstruck”: Steve McGarrett enters the arena for his close-up by participating in a charity MMA (mixed martial arts) fight in “Ka Hakaka Maika’I (The Good Fight)” from the October 24, 2011 (Episode 6).
Bob Dylan – “Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away”: Talk about a double treat with two classic rockers in tow. First one transition from one scene to the next right before Chin and Kono enter a smoke shop. George Thorogood & The Destroyers – “Bad to the Bone”: Max Bergman is the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of Honolulu. During this scene Max drives up to the Shrimp Shack (a mobile diner run by a helpful Five-0 informant) in his new car in Episode 8 of “Lapa’au (Healing)” on November 7, 2011.
James Gang – “Funk #49″: Here’s the episode with Jimmy Buffet guest starring as an American expat, and former helicopter pilot, living dangerously close to the DMZ in South Korea. His old school helicopter from the Vietnam War era lifts off with the team aboard to rescue McGarrett held captive in North Korea. It aired on November 21, 2011 titled “Kiʻilua (Deceiver),” Episode 10.
Jimmy Cliff – “World Upside Down”: “Kupale (Defender)” is an interesting episode as it deals with Hawaiian history and a reenactment battle. Cliff’s reggae song plays when there’s team building exercises in the jungle You can find it from the February 20, 2012 air date, Episode 17.
James Gang – Funk #49
Off of the “James Gang Rides Again” album…
ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) – “Evil Woman”: You’ve got to love Danny’s sense of humor. The song became his new ringtone for his ex-wife Rachel. The phone rings while he’s in the car with Steve. Naturally a cargument then follows in “La O Na Makuahine (Mother’s Day)” from September 24, 2012 in the Season 3 opener.
ZZ Top – “Chartreuse”: Catherine Rollins is Steve’s love interest, and a former Naval Intelligence Officer, who gets personal information from the US Marshall in “Kanalua (Doubt)” from Episode 2, October 1, 2012.
The Rolling Stones – “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”: It’s considered one of the best episodes in the show’s history. In the opening scene, while the Stones are playing, it flashes back to New Jersey in 2001. It’s quite a shock to see a Northeast industrial city juxtapositioned with the bright sunshine, clear waters, and beautiful colors of a typical Hawaiian beach when it comes back to present day 2012. “I Ka Wa Mamua (In a Time Past)” first aired on November 12, 2012 (Episode 6) with a very powerful ending.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Run Through the Jungle” Chin and Danny visit Chin’s moonshine making Uncle (played to perfection by George Takei) from “Hawaii Five-0’s” annual Christmas episode (#11) in “Kahu (Guardian)” from December 17, 2012.
Poison – “Unskinny Bop”: From the ’80s glam metal band viewers see villain Sang Ming singing in the shower. Sang always escapes from Five-0 in “Kapu (Forbidden)” from Episode 12 (January 14, 2013).
Jimi Hendrix – Several songs were showcased in “Olelo Ho’Opa’I Make (Death Sentence)” debuting on January 20, 2013 (Episode 13). “Somewhere” was also featured in the show’s promo. “Hear My Train a-Comin’” was during the Five-0 Task Force coming to rescue Chin in prison at Halawa Correctional Facility. Hendrix’s posthumous album that was released later in March 2013, “People, Hell & Angels,” was the episode’s soundtrack.
Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ (Lyric Video)
Lyric video by Jimi Hendrix performing “Hear My Train A Comin'”. (C) 2012 Experience Hendrix L.L.C., under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment.
AC/DC – “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)”: It’s one big happy Five-0 family playing football in the show’s annual Thanksgiving episode (#9) from November 22, 2013’s “Ha’uoli La Ho’omoaika’i (Happy Thanksgiving).”
B.B King – “Merry Christmas Baby”: This legendary blues musician’s holiday song is the soundtrack when a burglar breaks into a house and then cracks a safe from the show’s Christmas episode “Pukana (Keepsake)” airing December 20, 2013 (Episode 11).
The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom”: The Stones music opens the scene while its playing at some bar from Episode 12, January 10. 2014’s “O kela me keia manawa (Now and Then).”
The Rolling Stones – “Miss You”: Danno and his girlfriend are making out to the Stones in “Ku I Ka Pili Koko (Blood Brothers),” Episode 19 from April 11, 2014.
The Rolling Stones- Miss You
From Some Girls (1978)