First, an apology - the last post should have said the year was 1976, not 1975. 1975, Queen were number one with Bohemian Rhapsody, which I remember from watching them live in concert on New Year's Eve on BBC 2, havign sicovered a very nive bottle of pale white liquid in the fridge.
But I digress. Let's look at 1979 - Thatcher had been elected earlier in the year, the UK felt it was coming out of a storm, and you would think we would be ready for a party, yes? Instead, this was the nation's choice of the song to celebrate Christmas with.
Foreshadowing if ever there was some. Meanwhile, in the US the feelign was obviously that escapism was the thing to go for. After all, how else do you explain this being your number one?